The Contours of Extraterritorial Jurisdiction in Drug Smuggling Cases

This note examines the contours of U.S. jurisdiction over drug smugglers on the high seas. After a brief discussion of the two principal U.S. drug statutes, the note considers the territorial and protective principles of jurisdiction as defined by U.S. courts. Controversy currently centers around whether U.S. drug laws apply to foreign ships, carrying controlled substances on the high seas, where there has been no showing of an intent to import the drugs into the United States.