Yet another sign that we need some new ideas about how to address the issue of drugs in America.
(AP) Cocaine prices in the United States have dropped and the drug’s purity increased, despite years of effort and nearly $5 billion spent by the U.S. government to combat Colombia’s drug industry, the White House drug czar acknowledged in a letter to a key senator.
The drug czar, John Walters, wrote Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, that retail cocaine prices fell by 11 percent from February 2005 to October 2006, to about $135 per gram of pure cocaine ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? hovering near the same levels since the early 1990s. In 1981, when the U.S. government began collecting data, a gram of pure cocaine fetched $600. […]
Declining prices and rising purity could also suggest weakening demand, but several household and school-based surveys show that America’s cocaine consumption has barely budged since 2000, and demand in Europe has increased.
And do note, that this $5 billion was spent in the last six years under Bush’s Plan Colombia, which was supposed to stop the flow of cocaine into the country.
So what are we going to do? Ignore the reality or start to shift our focus onto addiction prevention and away from locking up addicts?
Regardless, we’re losing the “war” on drugs and after 20+ years that’s a sad statement. We need to get real on this issue before we waste any more money trying to get rid of something that has been with us since…well…a long time…
Learn more about cocaine addiction at Rehab International