All signs point to the obvious with the War on Drugs as supply is up and prices are down
While governments seize larger amounts of drugs, prices are down, purity is up, and supply is ever increasing. The substantial failure of the War of Drugs comes as a surprised only to those who haven’t been paying attention.
A recently released study shows that the prices of heroin, cocaine and cannabis in the United States fell sharply by 81 percent, 80 percent and 86 percent respectively between 1990 and 2007 in the United States after accounting for inflation.
As for purity, while cocaine lags behind at only an 11% increase, heroin gets a respectable 60% increase. Cannabis though had a whopping 161% increase in potency, largely due to new strain genetics and innovative growing techniques.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, drug seizures at the board alone in 2011 amounted to 135,943 pounds of cocaine, 2,015 pounds of heroin, 4,330,475 pounds of cannabis, and 6,135 pounds of methamphetamine.
The DEA made 30,476 domestic drug arrests alone, though their overall seizures are down from previous years. This does not include local law enforcement. The DEA eradicates around seven million plants per year.
Tens of tons are confiscated each year alone in Texas.
Estimated production of cannabis in the US alone is around 22 million pounds. Estimates put marijuana production at around 10 million each for both Canada and Mexico.
“These findings suggest that expanding efforts at controlling the global illegal drug market though law enforcement are failing,” said the study published in BMJ Open.
Uruguay was the first country to take a step towards becoming the world’s first nation in August to produce and distribute marijuana after its parliament approved the government to become the sole producer and supplier of the plant.
In a 2011 report, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime estimated the global illegal drug trade to be worth at least $350 billion annually. For a relative comparison, the alcohol and tobacco industry in the US is worth about $260 billion annually.
Aside from the numbers, drug cartel violence is up and they have largely taken over major swaths of Mexico, infiltrating the government at all levels while openly battling and controlling the streets. Tens of thousands die each year from drug related violence due to the black market conditions which exist from prohibition.
Drug arrestees also make up a sizable portion of America’s prison inmates, sucking money away from already cash strapped budgets.
A change of course in drug policy is imperative if we wish to gain any traction on drug related issues.
By: Stephen Carter
Contact Stephen via email at TXCann@gmail.com