The effect of organized crime on drug trafficking is in making the trafficking easier. Organized crime brings a structure to the distribution process. Putting drug trafficking in business terms – organized crime provides the logistics needed to move the product from the source to the market. There is an organization at the source who take grow the product. This same organization may also process and or package the product for initial distribution. Then an organization will then take over the transportation of the product to the market. This transportation organization may or may not be a part of the manufacturing organization.
Once the product is delivered to the distribution center – another organization with roots established in the market area will take over the marketing of the product to the end user or to smaller distribution agents. As in any business – drug trafficking takes an established organizational structure in place to ensure the success of the operation. Schaffer Library states “Drug trafficking is the most widespread and lucrative organized crime operation in the United States, accounting for nearly 40 percent of this country’s organized crime activity and generating an annual income estimated to be as high as $110
billion. ” (Schaffer). The activity around organized crime includes; corruption, bribery, robbery, murder, and many other illegal activities. The only motivation for the organization to pursue the activities related to drug trafficking is profit. Money makes the whole wheel turn. Without the profit – there would be no motivation. Organized crime families are a business. The business has to remain profitable. To be successful in drug trafficking each organized crime group or family needs to have a organizational structure in place. As in any business venture – there has to be a CEO and vice
presidents over various departments. In organized crime the CEO is the Boss, the V P’s are called Under Bosses, department heads are referred to as Capo’s and the workers who are part of the family are called Soldiers. (Grabianowski). Political influence in the United States is much less today than in the past. The National Institute of 1 Justice in a 2007 report by Dr. Finckenauer claims that influence is limited to political parties at a local level. This also includes police and other law enforcement agencies. The organized crime groups had more influence in the past than they enjoy in 2009.
There are a few exceptions to this trend – but the exceptions are very limited. Organized crime still has the need for some specialized support. This comes in the form of people to help with trip routes for the transportation of the drugs. They still have a need for some support from small regional airports for “no questions asked” landings and refueling. There will always be the need for associates to keep the organization informed of what is happening on the streets and in the schools. Some of this specialized support comes in the form of family members – but more times than not it comes from associates of the organization.
Associates are those who work for the organization but have no family ties to the organization. The biggest impact of drug trafficking on organized crime is that the drug trafficking provides the core reason for the organization’s existence. As stated earlier – drug trafficking accounts for nearly 40% of the revenue organized crime earns. That 40% is 110 billion dollars a year. Without a market or profit margin – the business has no need to be in existence. Legalization of drugs has been an ongoing debate and one that is not likely to be resolved anytime soon. Removal of the market is also something that is not going to happen.
Since earliest recorded history – there are parts of society who will seek out and use mind altering substances. We as society can attempt to limit this through education and rehabilitation – but that will only decrease use – not eliminate the market. Law enforcement will never end the trafficking of drugs – their only tool is to make it less profitable. By seizing the drugs and making the trafficking more difficult do they limit the profit. This battle has been fought for years – and will likely continue on for years. There will never be a winner or a looser – there will never be an ultimate victor on the battlefield.
There will only be the battle – and there will only be the casualties of war – on both sides. 2 Bibliography Finckenauer, J. (2007). United Nations Activities. La Cosa Nostra in the United States. Retrieved February 12, 2009, http://www. ncjrs. gov/pdffiles1/nij/218555. pdf Grabianowski, E. (1998). How Stuff Works. How the Mafia Works. Retrieved February 12, 2009 from, http://people. howstuffworks. com/mafia2. htm Schaffer. (1986). Schaffer Library on Drug Policy. America’s Habit: Drug Abuse, Drug Trafficking, & Organized Crime. Retrieved February 12, 2009 from http://www. druglibrary. org/schaffer/GovPubs/amhab/amhabc3. htm