The federal system of criminal justice is heavily involved in the so-called war against drugs. Federal drug crimes are widely enforced by federal officials in Arkansas and elsewhere to purportedly take in some of the more serious interstate drug activities, and generally to focus on the larger drug trafficking operations. It doesn’t always work that way, and sometimes federal arrests deal with alleged illegal activities that would normally be state offenses.
In a recent bust by federal authorities, eight men were arrested in the Hot Springs area on large scale methamphetamine trafficking charges. The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Arkansas provided a press release, indicating the need to crack down on “drug trafficking, violence and other associated crime.” The statement blamed much of the criminal activity in the Hot Springs area on drug trafficking. However, it remains to be seen whether these arrests will damper drug trafficking or other crime in the area, and whether they are even the kind of drug arrests that federal authorities are generally charged to handle.
Another problem is that the incidence and volume of drug activities does not generally go down after what appears to be an impressive drug sweep. In that respect, critics of the war on drugs often call for a different perspective to the problem. They recommend that the government take just part of the massive drug war resources and put it into rehabilitative services to reduce the demand for drugs.
Because no state or federal agencies have ever professed to reducing the specific drug trafficking numbers in Arkansas or other jurisdictions, a fresh perspective on the problem may be in order. As state and federal drug sweeps continue nationwide, and economic resources are correspondingly depleted, the rate of illegal drug transactions generally stays the same or increases. That’s because the users still want and need to buy the product. An approach that tries to reduce that demand by treating individual addictions may be a valid addition to the overall effort.
Source: thv11.com, “Eight men arrested for Hot Springs drug trafficking”, Dec. 12, 2014