The 2016 presidential election has brought the idea of the flow of illegal drugs into the United States to the forefront of national discourse, specifically due to Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall along the southern border of the country.
As such, the first method is to reinforce existing fencing along the border as a physical barrier to stop the flow of drugs.
Second, the deployment of additional border security agents supports this effort.
Third, states pass laws to decriminalize and/or outright legalize recreational marijuana use to, in part, deter the black market for the product.
Fourth, due to high profile deaths due to fentanyl use, the federal government and the media have engaged in a public relations campaign to make citizens more aware of the dangers of fentanyl in other illegal drugs. This aims to decrease the demand for other illegal drugs, which in turn will decrease the amount of fentanyl smuggled.
Fifth, the federal government has worked with the Mexican federal government to arrest and prosecute cartel members in Mexico. These cartels are the primary driver of the drug flow.
Sixth, the government has put increased emphasis on the search and destruction of underground tunnels along the border.
Seventh, decreased amnesty to illegal aliens crossing the border has been implemented. The harsher punishments, in theory, deter drug smugglers from crossing the border illegally.
Eighth, there have been crackdowns on gangs like MS-13 already stationed in United States. These gangs already have drug distribution channels in place, and those are disrupted with mass arrests.
Ninth, mandatory minimum drug laws were enacted to decrease the incentive to participate in the illegal drug market, but the effects of these policies have arguably been more negative than positive.
Finally, stricter restrictions around opioid prescriptions by doctors have led to less people developing addictions and a cooling of the black market.