Academic journal article Houston Journal of International Law

Cutting off the Building Blocks to Methamphetamine Production: A Global Solution to Methamphetamine Abuse

Academic journal article Houston Journal of International Law

Cutting off the Building Blocks to Methamphetamine Production: A Global Solution to Methamphetamine Abuse

Article excerpt

  I. A SLEEPING GIANT: WHERE DID METHAMPHETAMINE
     COME FROM?
     A. A History of Methamphetamine
     B. Methamphetamine Production
     C. An International Affair

 II. THE U.S. RESPONSE TO METHAMPHETAMINE ABUSE
     A. State Action
     B. Federal Regulation

III. THE INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO
     METHAMPHETAMINE ABUSE
     A. The International Struggle with
        Methamphetamines: Bilateral Agreements,
        Terrorism, and Corruption
     B. The United Nations' Response

 IV. A TWO FRONT WAR: COMPARING THE U.S. AND
     INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO METHAMPHETAMINE
     ABUSE
     A. Weak States: the Methamphetamine Den of
        Thieves
     B. Confusing the War on Terrorism and the War
        on Drugs
     C. Controlling the Precursor Manufactures
     D. United States Attempts at International
        Cooperation: Intelligence, Training, and Seizures

  V. CONCLUSION

            Look at me, busy as a bee,
           Where'd I get all this energy?
               Oh meth. Mmm meth.
           I don't sleep, and I don't eat,
   But I've got the cleanest house on the street.
               Oh meth. Mmm meth.
         Get these hairs all out of my face.
        Get these bugs all out of my place.
        One more hit, no time to waste.
           Oh meth. Mmm meth. (1)

In the late 1990s, the Office of the National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) began running commercials warning of the dangers of methamphetamine (2)--a drug that was quickly becoming a national concern. (3) However, the contrast between the upbeat jingle and the underlying antimethamphetamine message may have confused the public. This initial foray into addressing methamphetamine abuse not only highlighted the government's flawed grasp over the severity of the drug, but also foreshadowed the struggle to create a cohesive national policy to fight this growing concern.

The government continues to provide mixed messages concerning the gravity of U.S. methamphetamine abuse:

   In terms of damage to children and to our society, meth is now the
   most dangerous drug in America--a problem that has surpassed
   marijuana.

--Former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (4)

   But is [meth] the only drug problem? Is it the worst drug problem?
   ... The answer is no.

--John Walters, Director of the ONDCP (5)

While some policymakers argue that the media and the public are simply "crying meth," (6) others are working to encourage all levels of government to continue passing legislation that addresses methamphetamine-related issues. (7)

Indeed, increased media attention has forced the state and federal levels of government to adopt new policies addressing methamphetamines. (8) However, the fight against methamphetamine abuse, production, and trafficking within the United States cannot rely solely on additional federal guidelines and experimentation in state legislatures--it requires a clear federal response and international cooperation. Because many countries' methamphetamine policies focus on single faceted solutions or suffer from lack of funding and support, (9) the United States must continue to foster support for international initiatives designed to control global methamphetamine production and encourage U.N. resolutions addressing methamphetamine-related issues. In addition, reducing methamphetamine abuse and production in the United States requires an understanding of methamphetamine's history, an effort to balance federalism issues, and a harmonization of domestic goals that may diametrically oppose international foreign policies.

This Comment is divided into five parts. Part I discusses domestic methamphetamine production, traces U.S. addiction rates, and illustrates the global nature of methamphetamine abuse. Part II of this Comment analyzes the United States' response to the growing methamphetamine problem at both the state and federal levels. …

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