The film Cocaine Cowboys followed the development and growth of Miami as a city through its drug network and the pros and cons that came with this. While the city of Miami developed extremely quickly due to the influx of drugs and along with them money that came into the city and was then spent just as quickly, many things that often accompany drugs and money also came too. One of these problems was the growth of the crime rate in the area, as the drug trade shifted from marijuana to cocaine and the network of dealers became more organized and gang-like in their methods the number of killings rose as well. An important piece of the film was the shift from marijuana being the primary import drug to cocaine. The amount that was able to be transported an in turn the amount of money that was able to be made from it and spent throughout the city of Miami was astronomical. Although the economy of the time boomed this was problematic when the crackdown began on the drug trade for just as quickly as that money had arrived, it was gone. Drug money had left an influential mark on Miami though, building many of the high rise buildings, nightclubs and luxury dealers that had made the city famous.
In the article Collateral Damage by Coletta A. Youngers she mentions the problems that arise not from the drug trade itself but from the ‘drug war’ and the United States crackdown on drug trafficking. In reference to many Andes countries she states that although the U.S. is attempting to regulate drug trafficking by cutting it off at the production source their policies in many of these countries have caused them to align themselves with political or military groups that have had questionable human rights actions. So, in an effort to reduce drug related problem in the U.S. Andean people have been subjected to more conflict.
The article The Contras, Cocaine and Covert Operations was an interesting on because it was thought provoking in what perspective you looked at the U.S. governments stance and actions against drug trafficking. It discussed how it was common belief that the guerilla force, the contras, was the origins of cocaine being introduced to California. Since this group had allied with us in operations throughout Nicaragua though it was presented as if the government turned a blind eye to this fact in their ‘war on drugs’.
When looking at the multiple available perspectives available about drug trafficking it is quite easy to see shades of grey. While on one hand it brings violence and crime on the other money and economic growth. At what point do the risks outweigh the rewards? For Miami, havoc ultimately ensued due to the lack of regulation over outside sources illegally importing the product. The crime rate skyrocketed and it was hard to picture the Miami of the 1970’s being a city in the United States due to the complete lack of control and safety. For all the rewards the city ultimately received; is a city built on the kind of chaos that ensued from that amount of drugs and crime really worth it?