Losing the war on drugs

Global study finds drug are getting cheaper and more pure

New research suggests the international war on drugs is failing based on two measures—cost and purity of drugs.

A team of U.S. and Canadian researchers reviewed the drug supply in the U.S., Europe and Australia and drug production in Latin America, Afghanistan and Southeast Asia, according to CNN.com. The study found that between 1990 and 2007, the average price of heroin, cocaine and marijuana in the U.S. decreased by at least 80 percent, while the average purity increased by 60 percent, 11 percent, and 161 percent, respectively; similar trends were recorded in Europe and Australia. Meanwhile, between 1990 and 2010, seizures of marijuana by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration increased by 465 percent, heroin seizures increased by 29 percent, and cocaine seizures fell by 49 percent.

“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 rather than a criminal-justice issue,” said Dr. Evan Wood, who was part of the research team.