"Efforts to significantly reduce the flow of illicit drugs from abroad into the United States have so far not succeeded. Moreover, over the past decade, worldwide production of illicit drugs has risen dramatically: opium and marijuana production has roughly doubled and coca production tripled. Street prices of cocaine and heroin have fallen significantly in the past 20 years, reflecting increased availability. The effectiveness of international narcotics control programs in reducing consumption is a matter of ongoing concern. […] P.L. 106-246, 'Plan Colombia,' a $1.3 billion military assistance-focused initiative to provide emergency supplemental narcotics assistance to Colombia, was signed into law July 13, 2000. Recently, U.S. policy toward Colombia has focused increasingly on containing the terrorist threat to that country's security. The Bush Administration's FY2004 budget request continues a policy, begun in FY2002, to request authority for the State and Defense Departments to supply assistance to Colombia for counter-terrorism purposes. For instance, U.S.-supplied helicopters and intelligence could be used to support military operations against guerrillas financed by drugs as well as against drug traffickers themselves. Drug control approaches addressed in this issue brief include: 1) Expansion of efforts to reduce foreign production at the source. 2) Expansion of interdiction and enforcement activities to disrupt supply lines. 3) Expansion of efforts to reduce worldwide demand. 4) Expansion of economic disincentives for international drug trafficking. Current trends in U.S. counternarcotics policy also are discussed in the brief. For analysis of the Andean drug issues, see CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report RL31383, 'Andean Regional Initiative (ARI): FY2002 Supplemental and FY2003 Assistance for Colombia and Neighbors.'"
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB88093
United States Department of State, Foreign Press Center: http://fpc.state.gov/