Vice Squad
Friday, November 24, 2006
Change in Seizures Implies We are Winning the War on Drugs

Yes, I learned the good news from Chapter 3 of the President's National Drug Control Strategy, published way back in February. Cocaine seizures are well up, and that can only be good:
Continued declines in the potential production of cocaine in South America and record worldwide cocaine seizures have gradually reduced global supply. Worldwide seizures of cocaine, for example, reached record levels of more than 400 metric tons annually in 2003 and 2004. These unprecedented removals of cocaine from global distribution, combined with the diminished ability of the source countries to replenish worldwide supply, is beginning to have an effect in the United States. Between February and September 2005, retail cocaine purity dropped by 15 percent. Retail cocaine prices increased during the same period, suggesting the beginnings of a disruption of the cocaine market.
And if that wasn't enough good news, ecstasy seizures are down, more evidence of progress:
The dramatic impact of similar initiatives [to the famed 1999 disruption of Colombian coke traffickers] focused on major Dutch MDMA (Ecstasy) transporters is reflected in the 80 percent decline in US seizures of Ecstasy tablets shipped from abroad from 2001 to 2004.
And surely no change in seizures implies that we have got a handle on this whole drug problem.

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