Eliminating drug crops at the source through crop eradication and/or crop substitution has been a central, or at least an integral, part of U.S. international narcotics-control policy for the past twenty years. U.S. government policy officials maintain that eradication of illicit narcotics closest to the source of the raw material represents the most cost-effective and efficient approach to narcotics control within the overall supply-reduction strategy. The source of the illicit crop is believed to be the most commercially vulnerable point in the chain from grower to user. Since 1990, however, U.S. government policy officials have shifted away from crop control in favor of enhanced interdiction and targeting major trafficking organizations. Despite the best efforts of the United States and cooperating drug-SoURCE COUNTRIES, controlling the crop has been a difficult, if not impossible, task. Several Heroin and Marijuana crop-control successes have occurred, most notably in MEXICO and COLOMBIA, but these programs had their problems. To date, notwithstanding minor, short-term successes in BOLIVIA, coca crop-control has remained an elusive goal in the Andes. Undertaking a drug crop-control program involves political as well as economic costs for both the source country and the United States.
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