The Players in the Cocaine Game: An investigative look at the dealers, suppliers, and enforcers
It all started in the Chicago School. Robert Park and Ernest Burgess came up with the idea of social ecology. In the in class text, Schmalleger (2009)
When considering the socio economic status of all parties involved in the handling and distribution of drugs it becomes clear which group can be more easily targeted for crimes. According to Officer Moldes of the Austin, Texas Police Department, we can break down the distribution chain of cocaine into three main groups, the traffickers, distributors, and dealers. Traffickers are the wealthiest within the chain and purchase the product in pure form, powder cocaine. This group is the least suspicious, usually college educated and from a wealthy upbringing; typically Caucasian, and
Chapter 1 starts with the initial beginning of the students jump from drug user to distributor. This chapter initially begins talking about the definition of being cool in high school, how drugs made you cool when you were either using or sharing them (7), how the dealers could initially get high for free if they would just buy in bulk and sell off just enough to gain profit or make a profit in general (10-13), along with gaining mass popularity amongst peers.
The addition of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was created and was a significant step in combating the growing drug use in America. The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control of 1970 was passed and the DEA became foot soldiers in the war against drugs. However, in the 1980’s drug dealers discovered how to create a cheaper version of cocaine by mixing baking soda and water with crack cocaine. Drug dealers figured out that there were less cocaine per dose of crack than there was per dose of cocaine. The process of making crack makes it more potent at a lower consumption rate. This allows the drug dealers to sell it for cheaper and eventually created a new market. By selling crack cocaine cheaper, it allowed cocaine to leave the noses of the elites and it was now made available for the low income community, where an impressionable population of poor minorities from coast to coast will prove to be perfect prey.
Drug dealers need to ensure that their deals are profitable, consequently developing links with users willing to spend large amounts on illicit substances (Nicholas 2008).
Drug trafficking in the United States has established itself to be one of the most profitable businesses in today’s world (U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, 2004). There is such a high demand as more people buy, use and sell drugs for a variety of reasons, not really knowing all the risk that are at stake. With new laws in affect and more determined citizens of the U.S. everyone can help keep the streets clean. Drug trafficking is at an all-time high and must be brought to a halt.
The protection and camadarire once shared between gang members had disappeared. Crack had become an equal –opportunity alternative, the employer of last resort in many of Los Angeles poorest neighborhoods. Gang members capitalized this market and sold crack as many car salesmen sale cars. Competition was fierce and violence was used at ones leisure even if it meant betrayal of a fellow gang member.
Such topics include: the truth behind the incentive of real-estate agents; the act of cheating from schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers; the social and financial life of a drug dealer; and more. Although all topics introduced in the novel were of great interest, the one that really intrigued me was discovery of the truth behind what goes on in the drug-dealing business and in the mind of a drug dealer. Before reading the material based on this matter in the book, I would always ponder on why individuals would decide to become drug dealers with the amount of risk that comes with it. Furthermore, when learning that one involved in a crack gang must be “at the top of the pyramid to make a big wage”, I remained confused as to why one goes through such a risk to sell drugs; especially with the amount of time and dangerous effort it takes to make it to the top and actually make a considerable amount of money (Levitt & Dubner, 2005, p. 93). However, as I continued reading, my perspective on what goes through a drug dealer’s mind completely changed. As Levitt and Dubner began comparing a drug dealer to a “Wisconsin farm girl moving to Hollywood” and a “high-school quarterback waking up to lift weights”, I realized that their comparison made a lot of sense (Levitt & Dubner, 2005, p. 94). In order to become successful in a competitive field, one must start from the
One of the most common drugs use across the nation is Cocaine. Cocaine is classified as a stimulant, which is a group of drugs that cause short-term increase in the mental or physical state. Cocaine has a rich, long history dated back hundreds of years. The native people of South America first used it; they used to chew on it. The natives introduced this drug to the Spaniards when they landed on the continent. This lead to the research of Coca leaves a few hundred years later in Europe. Scientists sought o isolate and name the compound. After it was isolated, it was used as an anesthetic and other medical purposes for a couple of years. It was a useful anesthetic for eye and nasal surgery. However, today, it has very limited anesthetic use.
“Thousands of young black men are serving long prison sentences for selling cocaine — a drug that was virtually unobtainable in black neighborhoods before members of the CIA’s army started bringing it into South-Central in the 1980s at bargain-basement prices.”
The principles of incentives, among the other basic mindsets are all visibly used throughout the rest of the book in solving the various problems presented. In the chapter “Why do crack dealers still live with their mothers?” these authors examine and compare how a Chicago gang mirrors that of many corporate companies. The authors use financial records kept by the gang to examine the pay system, and use the experiences of a young sociologist that lived among the gang to examine the reasons for joining and working for the gang. What the financial records show, is that the money earned through dealing is concentrated greatly among the top 2.2 percent of the members, much the same as any corporations like Wall-Mart or McDonalds. The gang even had its own “board of directors”, which was modeled off many businesses during the time. Incentives played a key role in the membership of the gang’s lower levels. The incentives of becoming the next drug lord, or the next big seller, were enough to draw members to positions that paid less than minimum wage and involve the risks of jail time and death. Although this would seem unlikely, a closer look reveals that dreams and incentives of these gang members are no different than that of a girl waitressing while she tries to make it in Hollywood. The author’s show the pull of incentives are seen in every aspect of life, whether it be drug
Alongside the need or want for drugs, a market is available to move, buy, and sell drugs usually run by small groups of individuals. There have been certain key players in regards to nations that have provided an environment for this market of cultivation and production of substances and trafficking. Often it is due to a lack of a strong government and a weak economy, pushing otherwise hard working, honest people to make a living by other means. Despite Colombia’s relatively strong economy and stable government, the following introduction of coca from Peru and Bolivia took hold. Colombia became one nation that largely contributed to cocaine and heroin trafficking. A country that initially produced and exported small amounts of cocaine in the early 1970’s now has a major role throughout the world.5
The extent of drug cartel’s economic dependency on U.S. and other foreign buyers shields individual empires from oppression and the threat of rival groups. As the percent of cocaine being transported into the US raises from 77 percent to more than 90 percent, drug cartels are becoming stronger and more widespread (Lee n. pag.). With the rapidly escalating number of U.S. cocaine sales, Mexican mafias profit immensely. These cash profits fund all cartel activities including the