Trends in Organized Crime

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 75–86 | Cite as

The international drug control regime’s straight jacket: are there any policy options?

  • Francisco E. ThoumiEmail author


All societies have to control individual behaviors that are considered as socially damaging. The use of mind altering drugs is one such behavior. These controls have always been determined locally but in the 20th Century an international drug control regime was developed that established a globally unified normative control system formulated in the three United Nations drug conventions. The global normative system is based on a prohibitionist paradigm. The international norms are very difficult to change and impose strong restrictions on the ways in which countries may manage addictive mind altering drugs. The essay surveys the development of the international drug control regime, identifies its main characteristics and makes a naïve proposal to manage the consumption of those drugs through an insurance system aimed at minimizing the sum of the social costs generated by drug addiction and anti-drug policies.


Cocaine Heroin Money Laundering Drug Policy Narcotic Drug 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author thanks Marcela Anzola for her comments and notes that she is exonerated of any responsibility for the ideas expressed in this essay.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lozano Long Institute of Latin American StudiesUniversity of TexasAustinUSA

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