Source and Transit Countries

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Everyone Profits at Helmand's Drug Bazaar--The poppy harvest is in and everyone from the Taliban to local government officials is cooperating to get the opium crop to market.

Location: 
HEL
Afghanistan
Publication/Source: 
ISN Security Watch
URL: 
http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?ID=17699

Colombian coca production up for 3rd straight year

Location: 
Bogota
Colombia
Publication/Source: 
Houston Chronicle
URL: 
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/4857918.html

Mexico's President is Half Right

Mexican President Felipe Calderon told Deutsche Press-Agentur this weekend that America's drug habit is the cause of Mexico's drug prohibition-related violence. In Mexican President Blames US for Drugs War, Calderon said:
"Our problem is the demand for narcotics in the US market, which significantly affects Mexico," the Mexican president said. Calderon stressed that no strategy from the Mexican government against drug cartels will be sufficient unless demand is reduced. "It is evident that as long as there is a market, as long as there is drug consumption in the United States, this problem will persist in Mexico," he said.
Calderon is, of course, absolutely correct on that score. I've often noted that the prohibition-related violence plaguing our southern neighbor--there have been 1,046 killed in Mexico's drug wars so far this year--is Mexico paying the price for our war on the drugs we love to consume. Where he is wrong is his implicit assumption that the US government can meaningfully reduce demand and that the war on drugs could somehow succeed if--gosh darnit!--we Americans only tried harder. We spend about $40 billion and arrest nearly 2 million people a year in the drug war, and the drug use numbers fluctuate at the margins. The US drug market will never go away. If Calderon wants to see an end to the prohibition-related violence in Mexico, he would be much better off calling for the regulation and normalization of the illicit drug business than waiting for Americans to quit using drugs. The only thing less likely than the US government ending drug prohibition is that Americans are going to change their ways.
Location: 
United States

Mexican President Blames US for Drug War

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
Press TV
URL: 
http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=11883&sectionid=3510207

Northern Province Says No to Opium

Location: 
BDS
Afghanistan
Publication/Source: 
Institute for War and Peace Reporting
URL: 
http://www.iwpr.net/?p=arr&s=f&o=336039&apc_state=henparr

Peru's anti-drug efforts lacking bite

Location: 
Lima
Peru
Publication/Source: 
Miami Herald
URL: 
http://www.miamiherald.com/579/story/126423.html

Indian rebels turn to poppy for funds

Location: 
JH
India
Publication/Source: 
Daily Times (Pakistan)
URL: 
http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C06%5C01%5Cstory_1-6-2007_pg4_18

Ponder This Graph for a Moment, Please

graph from WOLA and AIN (graph from WOLA/AIN memo, link below) This graph shows what about $10 billion in US taxpayer dollars has accomplished. Note that while coca production has shifted within the region, the 1992 levels and the 2005 levels are essentially identical. Why is our coca eradication policy not subjected to cost-benefit analysis? Is there anyone who will argue that it is working? If so, I'd like to hear it. To be fair, that $10 billion has accomplished some things. It has engendered massive social conflict in all three countries, it has led to tens of thousands of peasant farmers being arrested as drug traffickers, it has led to thousands of deaths (especially in Colombia, where the eradication policy is part of the US's broader military intervention in that country's festering civil war). Your tax dollars at work. $10 billion is a lot of money. Heck, we could finance the Iraq war for a few weeks with it! Or we could give $100,000 college scholarships to 10,000 students. Or build $100,000 homes for 10,000 families. Or numerous other programs that, unlike the coca eradication program, might actually accomplish something. By the way, I came across the graph above in a memo from the Andean Information Network and the Washington Office on Latin America. That memo was occasioned by the US government's release of coca cultivation estimates for Bolivia. The US government has for months been complaining that Bolivian President Evo Morales' pro-coca policies were going to lead to a boom in production there. Surprise! It didn't. Read the memo for some juicy analysis.
Location: 
United States

Why the US is Losing Its War on Cocaine

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Independent (UK)
URL: 
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article2586645.ece

Why the US is losing its war on cocaine

Location: 
United States
Publication/Source: 
The Independent (UK)
URL: 
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article2586645.ece

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