SOC229 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Organized Crime, Desroches Island

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Module 16 The Nature of Drug Trafficking and Research Methodology
Introduction Drug Laws and Prohibition
Most modern countries have prohibitions against the use of certain drugs
Controlled drugs and substances act lists drugs that are illicit or prohibited
- Criminal offense with serious consequences
Many countries have death penalty for drug traffickers
Prohibition (1919-1932) prohibited alcohol in the US
- As a consequence, people began to make their own and sell it illegally
- Organized crime came from this
Great market for illegal drugs, however the prohibition of them causes that market to
go underground
Eforig drug las are diffiult eause it’s etee to osetig people – no victim
- “oe people say it’s ot a itiless rie (drug user, their family, etc.)
- No oe oes forard eause it’s a i-win situation for the drug dealer and user
To investigate, they must use very aggressive techniques
- Surveillance techniques bugs, video, undercover agents, etc.
- Considered a major threat to our civil liberties
Prohibition of drugs causes many problems and costs
Some people say we should legalize them and control them like alcohol and tobacco
- Why do we allow alcohol and tobacco but not marijuana or cocaine?
The Title of the Book The Crime That Pays
Criminologists argue that most crimes pay very little and carry high risk
- Criminal activity largely motivated by short-term gratification
- Ex: bank robbery
Argument made by authors resonated with Desroches
He found that high-level drug trafficking does pay
- Other exceptions exist as well
Many organized criminals were millionaires
It’s diffiult to ath high-level drug traffickers because of lack of resources and the
consensual nature
- Low risk and high payout
Even if the drug traffickers are known, police do not have the resources to investigate
and catch them
Montreal RCMP set up money exchange that flushed out drug traffickers
- Identified 25 criminal organizations that were dealing illicit drugs
- Only had resources to investigate two of them
- 23 organizations kept operating even though they were known
Only a small proportion get caught
Drug traffickers are typically non-violent and do not have a criminal background
- Typically get very lenient sentences
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Document Summary

Module 16 the nature of drug trafficking and research methodology. Introduction drug laws and prohibition: most modern countries have prohibitions against the use of certain drugs, controlled drugs and substances act lists drugs that are illicit or prohibited. Criminal offense with serious consequences: many countries have death penalty for drug traffickers, prohibition (1919-1932) prohibited alcohol in the us. As a consequence, people began to make their own and sell it illegally. Organized crime came from this: great market for illegal drugs, however the prohibition of them causes that market to go underground, e(cid:374)for(cid:272)i(cid:374)g drug la(cid:449)s are diffi(cid:272)ult (cid:271)e(cid:272)ause it"s (cid:271)et(cid:449)ee(cid:374) t(cid:449)o (cid:272)o(cid:374)se(cid:374)ti(cid:374)g people no victim. O(cid:373)e people say it"s (cid:374)ot a (cid:448)i(cid:272)ti(cid:373)less (cid:272)ri(cid:373)e (drug user, their family, etc. ) No o(cid:374)e (cid:272)o(cid:373)es for(cid:449)ard (cid:271)e(cid:272)ause it"s a (cid:449)i(cid:374)-win situation for the drug dealer and user: to investigate, they must use very aggressive techniques. Surveillance techniques bugs, video, undercover agents, etc.

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