According to the State Department's annual drug-trafficking report, a federal law took effect in 1985 authorizing the United States to penalize countries that do not control illicit narcotics production. Today, these same countries are now producing larger quantities of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and other drugs, Furthermore, three years after installing a pro-U.S. government, Afghanistan has been unable to contain opium poppy production and is on the verge of becoming a narcotics state. Opium poppy is the raw material for heroin. Colombia is the source of more than 90 percent of the cocaine and 50 percent of the heroin entering the United States. The report also listed Mexico as a major producer of heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana destined for U.S. markets. Source: New York Times and Associated Press. Some would argue that the only solution would be the legalization of drugs. By removing the criminality of drug sales, possession and usage, the United States government could devote more of its law enforcement resources on other crimes such as murder, rape, assault etc. Furthermore, they argue that regulation of such drugs could create a revenue enhancement for federal, state and local governments. The counter argument suggests that by legalizing drugs, the government grants an implicit consent that drug consumption is morally acceptable. Others argue that the U.S. should focus more on the demand side of the problem by increasing funds for psychiatric and psychological counseling. Their argument is based on the idea that if the individual is properly counseled and medicated, the demand for illegal narcotics would drop significantly. The counter argument is that this solution is cost prohibitive and will only result in replacing one problem with another. Still others offer a more hard-line approach when it comes to dealing with foreign countries such as setting a deadline for the removal of narcotics production. If the deadline passes, the U.S. should utilize various crop-field-burning methods so as to totally obliterate any type of crop production. This would effectively eliminate the central piece of drug production across the planet. The counter argument, however, is that this policy would prevent farmers from switching to other crops in order to earn a legitimate living. I believe that the problem of illegal narcotics in the United States poses a greater threat to the average citizen than any terrorist and/or nuclear threat in existence today. Perhaps a balanced integration of all three of these solutions is our only answer.