CSM Drug War Series Part II

Plan Colombia: Big gains, but cocaine still flows. That is the title of today’s segement. Despite billions of dollars an lives spent the supply of drugs flowing from Columbia still increased last year.

Dana Harman at The Christian Science Monitor: In total, since the eradication program began in 1994 (and particularly since it was ramped up in 2000), 986,925 hectares of coca plant and opium poppy have been destroyed— an area equivalent to the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Drug seizures are another pillar of the plan, and here too, there are results. Two hundred and twenty five tons of cocaine hydrochloride and cocaine base were seized in 2005, up from 125 tons in 2002, and the number of clandestine drug labs destroyed soared to nearly 2,000 last year from 317 in 2000, according to a July study by Colombia’s National Narcotics Directorate (DNE).

Despite these unprecedented eradication efforts, coca cultivation actually increased last year by 8 percent, to 86,000 hectares, according to a study released in June by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). More significantly, the amount of cocaine being produced is also increasing. According to DNE Colombia produced 776 metric tons of cocaine last year, 231 more than previous US estimates, and enough to supply almost 80 percent of the entire world market.

Posted by: Howie at 10:05 AM


1 Perhaps we should our billions more directly on the growers to "not grow" just as we do at home?

Posted by: Al at September 28, 2006 10:16 AM

2 What a colossal waste of money and lives the War on Drugs has been.

Cocaine may well be one of the most terrible substances on earth, but is it worth it for us to spend so many billions of tax dollars on a program of eliminating supply that simply isn't working? And what about the morality -- actually, lack thereof -- of pointing a gun at the guy on the street who is buying the stuff?

Back to basic economics, people. Reduce supply, the price goes up. When that happens, because the product is entirely illegal, then it's controlled by a large, thriving black market, entirely of our own creation, which results in people needlessly getting ripped off and/or killed.

If you want to solve the "drug problem," you have to do two things: First, realize that the "War on Drugs" IS the root cause of the problem.

Posted by: Michael Hampton at September 28, 2006 02:11 PM

3 My older sister is married to a crackhead. He wasn't always a crackhead, but became one about 7 years ago or so. They have an 11 and a 9 year old. They have lost a house, a business and potentially could lose their second house. How is economics going to fix this situation? He has almost killed himself now, if he can get more for the same amount of money, he surely will kill himself and probably take someone with him.

It sounds like projection to me: the War on Drugs is a failure and a waste of money, let us stop this war and everything will be just fine.

Posted by: Fersboo at September 28, 2006 02:32 PM

4 you need to write him off. Crack is a product of the smugglers. We're not talking original coca cola here. Someone starts hitting the crack pipe or injecting drugs the person you knew is dead. Chances of him coming back. Very slim. Sorry but it's the truth. Thats the problem the crackheads and junkies are a problem. But the rest get lumped in with them. I don't see much difference in a guy on the porch having a beer or smoking some pot in the evening. But the law does.

Posted by: Howie at September 28, 2006 02:38 PM

5 Maybe if he could by coca cola it would take the edge off enough for him to give up the crack.

Posted by: Howie at September 28, 2006 02:39 PM

6 I don't give a rat's ass about him, but what about my sister and my two nephews? We have to let crack flow freely because a bunch of no-prospect slackers what do sit around getting stoned? Good to see that we are worried about everybody feeling good.

Posted by: Fersboo at September 28, 2006 03:16 PM

7 I must agree with everyone else here: the drug war is not effective.

as long as i, a mere child, am able to buy cocaine at "lunchtime" during school...

the drug war is not working.

Posted by: morgan at September 28, 2006 05:19 PM

8 Fersboo: I feel for you man. The best you can do is advise her to get away. To force the choice to come. Helping doesn't help if they won't make the tough choice. Watch out for the kids but don't let him use them to enable himself. Hopefully she will come around and get out of there. Then the ball is in his court. Oh and pray a lot. I'll be thinking of them we should keep them in our prayers.

Posted by: Howie at September 28, 2006 07:58 PM

9 greg that better not be you. If it isn't email me.

Posted by: Howie at September 28, 2006 08:02 PM

10 Jawa report?

Posted by: greyrooster at September 29, 2006 06:25 AM

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