DEA Failed, But Weak $ Raises Price of Cocaine?
REUTERS (May 8, 2007) -- Billions of dollars in aid to Colombia have failed to drive up the price of cocaine on American streets, according to the head of the top U.S. anti-narcotics agency.
Officials in Washington have said crop spraying and military pressure on drug-smuggling guerrillas and paramilitaries would make cocaine more expensive in the United States following a U.S.-backed offensive launched in 2000.
But the Drug Enforcement Administration's chief said that a higher price -- a key indicator of success in the war on drugs -- had failed to sustain itself for long.
According to this report by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), wholesale cocaine prices increased 11% in the U.S. between January and June 2007 from from $20.85 to $23.04 per gram, and retail prices increased 15% from $145.42 to $166.90 per gram of pure cocaine during the same period.
The DEA concludes "Cocaine availability in the United States has fallen significantly, as indicated by an increase in the price per pure gram since December 2006."
Apparently the weak dollar might have done more to raise cocaine prices than the billions of dollars spent by the DEA.
And for an analysis of why rising cocaine prices might actually make the drug problem worse (increased violence, users switching from powder to crack cocaine, or from cocaine to cheaper meth, increased drug trafficking because of higher prices, etc.), not better, read this.