The dealing of illegal drugs has existed for a very long time in Canada. People have been smuggling drugs in many different ways and there have been many popular drug busts that occurred as a result. Some of the most common illegal drugs being dealt are marijuana, cocaine, opium, crack, and so on. Some of these drugs damage your body while others act as medicine and help people to overcome certain types of illnesses and diseases. The big debate these days is whether to legalize some of these illegal drugs which provide benefits to people. Also since many people are using them these days this causes problems as these people are arrested and thrown in jail causing them to be overcrowded. Also a drug such as marijuana, which is illegal, is more safer than legalized drugs such as tobacco and alcohol. Therefore should marijuana not be made legal also. Issues like this surround the whole drug scene and cause many debates. The purpose of this paper is to examine how easy it is to buy and sell drugs in Canada and also whether it is possible to do it over the internet. An examination will also be made on the amount of money made off drug trafficking to see if there are profits made in this industry. The actors, types of drugs, trends, and obstacles must be examined before the different ways dealing takes place, whether it can be done over the internet, and the profits that are involved in trafficking in order to understand how easy it is to buy and sell drugs.
The actors that are involved in the drug trafficking scenario within Canada vary from big organizations to individual dealers. There are many transnational groups which smuggle drugs into Canada through an organized system of people and businesses forming different organizations. The main transnational groups come from places all around the world. According to C.S.I.S. “There are approximately 18 active transnational criminal organizations represented in Canada, including Asian triads, Colombian cartels, Japanese yakuza, Jamaican posses, Mafia groups from the USA, Calabria and Sicily, Russian/Eastern European mafiyas, Nigerian crime groups and major outlaw motorcycle gangs.” Some of these groups can be broken down into even smaller groups, such as “The Chinese triads, the Big Circle Boys and the Japanese yakuza [which] are the most prominent types of groups involved in Asian-based transnational crime.” As mentioned earlier these groups can be from a small group to very large ones. For example,” The largest triad in Hong Kong, the principal center for the triads, is the Sun Yee On (also known as The Yee On Commercial and Industrial Guild), with anywhere from 47,000 to 60,000 members carrying out activities worldwide.” With all of these groups around, the connections to importing drugs into Canada is really unstoppable, especially if they make all the transactions very sophisticated, as they usually do. On the other side of the scale there are the individuals who grow or manufacture drugs in basements or garages, where these activities are hidden well enough so that the police does not know about them. Some other ways in which drugs might be smuggled are through pharmacies which operate over the internet. ” The FDA is trying to crack down. It has launched investigations of 134 sites, including 54 for selling prescription drugs and another 80 for selling illegal or unapproved drugs, such as the date rape drug.” Trafficking is even going on through special organizations such as the CIA. “goes far beyond the criminal acts of CIA drug trafficking and its coverups.” These are the main actors that are mainly involved in drug trafficking in Canada.
The different types of illegal drugs that are smuggled into Canada include cocaine, heroin, hashish, liquid hashish, marijuana, and chemical drugs such as ecstasy, methamphetamine, GHB, Rohypnol, and LSD. The amounts of these drugs vary from a large amount to not such a large amount. For example,
“Approximately 15 to 24 tonnes of cocaine enter Canada each year,…. The
potential annual demand for heroin in Canada ranges between one and two tonnes.
This is based on an estimated addict population of 25,000 to 50,000, with an
average daily consumption of 0.2 grams of 50 % pure heroin, or 36.5 grams of pure
heroin per addict each year…. Based on the preceding factors and intelligence on multi-tonne hashish shipments seized in Canada and abroad and those known to have entered the Canadian market, analysts estimate that at least 100 tonnes of this
drug enter Canada every year…. Although liquid hashish (which is in fact processed marijuana) is manufactured in Canada, an estimated six to eight tonnes are
imported yearly from Jamaica…. The RCMP estimates the annual production of marijuana in Canada to be at least in the 800 tonne range,… …one Ecstasy tablet, which is sold on the black market for $35 to $40, costs about $1.70 to $2.35
to produce. Laboratories produce from one to five kilograms at a time, with a yield of
approximately 10,000 tablets per kilogram…. In January 1999, 3,500 units of Rohypnol
were seized in North Vancouver…. ”
Looking at these numbers it reveals the amount of money that could be made off these shipments per year. This might also have an effect on the GNP. However these are only some of the few illegal drugs that enter Canada.
Some of the major trends in drug trafficking that have developed over the past few years are, it appears that there has been an increase in the amount of people using drugs. This is evident because of the key debates that have been going on recently about legalizing drugs such as marijuana and others. “Law enforcement agencies in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec indicate an increase in cocaine and heroin consumption, particularly among street youth and students. Concomitant dependence on heroin and cocaine has become more prevalent.” There is also an increase in the amount of drugs that are coming in from developing countries into developed countries because the developing countries can make a good profit off of it. “Afghanistan, Myanmar, Laos, and Pakistan cultivate the bulk of the world’s opium and Peru and Bolivia are responsible for 90% of the world’s coca supply.” Therefore there will always be an increase in the amount of illegal drugs entering Canada for as long as the supply of these drugs is not made illegal. As long as the supply side of these drugs will not be illegal than the demand side will always try to get these drugs one way or another.
Since drug trafficking in Canada is fairly simple there are many different ways in which drugs are imported and made in this country. Some of the methods are carried out by big transnational organizations while others are carried out by civilians. The geography of Canada also makes it prone to drug trades as the north, west, and east borders are surrounded with water and the southern border is connected to the United States. Also considering that throughout most of the northern borders the land is uninhabited it makes the importing and exporting of drugs relatively easy. To be exact, ” It shares an 8,000 kilometer land and water border with the United States and has more than 66,000 kilometers of Atlantic and Pacific coastline, much of which is remote and uninhabited.” “Conspiracies to import multi-tonne shipments of drugs in mothership operations or aboard private aircraft will continue. Smuggling by marine and air cargo container will be the preferred transportation means, however, primarily because of lower costs and risk of detection.” The drug shipments could be as part of any of the commercial shipments which make their way to Canada each year. According to sources, ” More than 9 million commercial shipments enter Canada each year, 75 per cent of them at land border ports and the remainder at international airports, marine ports, postal facilities and bonded warehouses. Of these shipments, approximately one million are marine containers arriving directly at Canadian seaports, with a further 200,000 entering by truck or rail after being off-loaded at U.S. ports.” Canada has always been exporting drugs to the United States and with better technology they will be able to export more. This means that they must also be importing certain types of drugs from them. “New technologies in marihuana cultivation will become more prevalent. Export of marijuana to the United States will remain an important illicit industry in British Columbia and should expand in other parts of Canada, particularly Quebec and Ontario.” Another aspect of drug dealing is through the transnational organizations. Different methods used include dealing over the internet and other ways such as legitimization, which is where these criminals will attempt to isolate themselves from the illegal part of it by being involved in business ventures or by donating money to hospitals and charities. “Cooperation among transnational crime organizations, already a major factor in the new world order of crime is expected to continue and expand.” This could include being involved in things like partnerships and alliances so that certain systems can be shared among the groups. Finally the level of sophistication can also have an impact on drug trafficking such as where a criminal has a high level of education and they know how to make deals safely without getting any legal organizations after them. These are the main ways in which dealing drugs can be delivered.
One way of drug trafficking can be performed over the internet. There are many web sites which give access to certain types of drugs. These drugs can be pharmaceutical or they can also be illegal.” It [FDA] has launched investigations of 134 sites, including… 80 for selling illegal or unapproved drugs, such as the date rape drug.” Also with the advanced technology and the internet the drug trading can occur a lot faster than before. “This globalization has created a world virtually devoid of national borders. Unfortunately, these changes have also made it easier for members of highly sophisticated and organized criminal syndicates to pursue a complex web of lucrative legal and illegal activities worldwide.” There are probably a lot of profits made over the net as well since, “The United Nations estimates that at least $200 billion in drug money is laundered every year largely via international electronic bank transfers. An estimated $3 billion to $10 billion is laundered in Canada every year.” Another feature which is offered over some internet websites is certain recipes on how to make certain types of drugs which can be made easily. “Yet the lucrative dynamic of huge profits and a growing market
is likely to spawn a new wave of made-in-Ontario Ecstasy. “It costs pennies a pill to make, and retails at $30 to $40,”… “When you consider that the Internet offers several recipes as simple as Betty Crocker, and most of the ingredients are available at Canadian Tire, you can forecast more home-cooking.” By looking at some of the aspects of drug trafficking on the internet it can be seen just how accessible it is to get drugs.
There are several obstacles that stand in the way of trafficking. Some of these include the RCMP, the police, and other such bodies. However, as for the strength of these bodies in terms of catching criminals in possession of or trafficking drugs the chances are very slim. Most of these people are caught when they are stopped for other related possessions. For example, “Approximately 90-95% of drug charges are linked up with other charges…. For the vast majority of those who were “picked up” on cannabis simple possession charges, it was not for any reason directly related to drugs.” Since the chances of catching people who possess or traffick drugs are low, there must be some other ways of stopping the drug war. Three other ways that might help to serve this goal are legalization, enhanced enforcement, and expansion of treatment facilities. With legalization ” crime would be dramatically reduced, [and] the threat to everyone’s civil liberties would be significantly reduced….” Enhanced enforcement would include ” development of new tougher laws, and renewed interdiction efforts.” “I believe it is necessary to provide affordable treatment for all those who seek it…. a variety of treatment modalities including drug free outpatient, detoxification, methadone maintenance, … need to be maintained to help those who decide to give up or cut down on their drug use.” Therefore it is clear that the current drug situation is easily performed with barely any real obstacles in the way.
The industry of drug trafficking is very profitable and it also has an affect on the GNP in a substantial way. ” The United Nations estimates that at least $200 billion in drug money is laundered every year largely via international electronic bank transfers. An estimated $3 billion to $10 billion is laundered in Canada