Illegal drugs seem to be winning the war against illegal drugs.
Drugs are now cheaper to buy and more potent despite increased drug seizures by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy said in its report.
Between the years 1990 and 2009, the DEA increased cannabis seizures by 465 percent and heroin seizures by 29 percent. Despite the increased seizures, prices for cannabis decreased by 86 percent over the same period. Heroin prices decreased by 81 percent. The general decrease of price implies an over-supply of hard drugs available. Over the past two decades the purity/potency of heroine, cocaine, and cannabis has also increased.
The study found similar results in European and Australian markets.
“These findings add to the growing body of evidence that the war on drugs has failed,” said study co- author Dr. Evan Wood, Scientific Chair of the ICSDP. The report, released September 30, analyzed two decades worth of global drug surveillance data.
The war on drugs began more than 40 years ago. Since then, the U.S. has spent more than $1 trillion in attempts to obliterate the illegal drug market. The evidence suggests that these efforts have failed.
“We should look to implement policies that place community health and safety at the forefront of our efforts, and consider drug use a public health issue rather than a criminal justice issue,” said Wood.