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Drug facts

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See also: Drug war facts
See also: Hemp library.


compiled by Kendra E. Wright and Paul M. Lewin
for Common Sense for Drug Policy, 

Updated: February 1, 1999

1. The international illicit drug business generates as much as $400
billion in trade annually according to estimates in the World Drug Report,
which was commissioned by the United Nations International Drug Control
Program. That amounts to 8% of all international trade and is comparable to
the annual turnover in textiles, according to the study.

 Source: Associated Press, "U.N. Estimates Drug Business Equal to 8 Percent
 of World Trade," (1997, June 26).

2. Interdiction efforts intercept 10-15% of the heroin and 30% of the
cocaine. Drug traffickers earn gross profit margins of up to 300%. At least
75% of international drug shipments would need to be intercepted to
substantially reduce the profitability of drug trafficking.

 Source: Associated Press, "U.N. Estimates Drug Business Equal to 8 Percent
 of World Trade," (1997, June 26).

3. Thirteen truck loads of cocaine is enough to satisfy U.S. demand for one
year.  The United States has 19,924 kilometers of shoreline, 300 ports of 
entry and more than 7,500 miles of border with Mexico and Canada. Stopping 
drugs at the borders is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

 Source: Frankel, G., "Federal Agencies Duplicate Efforts, Wage Costly Turf
 Battles," The Washington Post (1997, June 8), p. A1. Central Intelligence 
 Agency, World Factbook 1998

4. One of the major problems with supply reduction efforts (source control,
interdiction, and domestic enforcement) is that "suppliers simply produce
for the market what they would have produced anyway, plus enough extra to
cover anticipated government seizures.

 Source: Rydell, C.P. &; Everingham, S.S., Controlling Cocaine, Prepared
 for the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the United States Army,
 Santa Monica, CA: Drug Policy Research Center, RAND (1994), p. 6.

5. From 1985 to 1995, the federal drug control budget has increased almost
five-fold, from about $2.7 billion to about $13.25 billion. Yet, in that
same period the percentage of 12th grade students that reported marijuana
as "fairly easy" or "very easy" to obtain increased from 85.5% in 1985 to
89.6% in 1995.

 Sources: Office of National Drug Control Policy, The National Drug Control
 Strategy, 1997, Budget Summary, Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing
 Office (1997, February), p. 22; Johnston, L., Bachman, J. &; O'Malley,
 P., National Survey Results from the Monitoring the Future Study,
 Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office (1996), Vol. 1, p. 270,
 Table 30.

6. To achieve a one percent reduction in U.S. cocaine consumption, the
United States could spend an additional $34 million on drug treatment
programs, or 20 times more, $783 million, on efforts to eradicate the
supply at the source.

 Source: Rydell &; Everingham, (1994), Controlling Cocaine, Santa
 Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation.

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Questions, comments or suggestions for additions and modifications
may be addressed to Paul Lewin at:

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See also:
See also: Drug war facts
See also: Hemp library.

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