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Drug War PathologiesEmbedded Corporatism and U.S. Drug Enforcement in the Americas$
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Horace A. Bartilow

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469652559

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652559.001.0001

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Drug War Policy Reforms and the Endurance of the Embedded Corporatist Regime

Drug War Policy Reforms and the Endurance of the Embedded Corporatist Regime

Chapter:
(p.209) Chapter 9 Drug War Policy Reforms and the Endurance of the Embedded Corporatist Regime
Source:
Drug War Pathologies
Author(s):

Horace A. Bartilow

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469652559.003.0009

This chapter examines why it is difficult to dismantle the drug enforcement regime even when it fails to realize its raison d’être. The chapter acknowledges that, while the Obama administration’s “safe harbor” policy has changed federal domestic marijuana policy by choosing not to prosecute marijuana offenses in states that have legalized marijuana, the administration’s continuation of overseas enforcement policies has facilitated the endurance of the drug enforcement regime. The continuity of the drug enforcement policies of the Obama and Trump administrations is discussed in the context of critiquing the ways in which the forty-eight-year-old drug war has failed to slow the flow of illicit drugs into the United States. It is argued that the endurance of the regime is partly due to the competing nature of drug policy reforms promoted by various U.S. civil society organizations and a number of Latin American governments, which undermine the ability to galvanize domestic and international support around a cohesive policy alternative to the prohibition and corporatist norms of the existing regime. The chapter concludes by examining existing drug policy reforms, such as decriminalization and legalization, and shows their limits in addressing the pathological effects of the corporatist drug enforcement regime.

Keywords:   regime endurance, drug policy reforms, drug decriminalization, drug legalization, embedded corporatist regime

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