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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

American War On Drugs Failure

When Nixon declared a war on drugs, mobilizing law enforcement across the country, it seemed like a good idea and there were many who thought it possible. Unfortunately, after decades of failure, it no longer seems that the war can be won.

Marijuana, heroin and cocaine prices continue to drop, while the drugs’ purity has increased, according to researchers in the U.S. and Canada. 

The supply of major illegal drugs has dramatically risen in the past two decades, according to researchers. Researchers studied seven sets of government drug surveillance data in order to get a closer look at the drug supply in the United States, Europe and Australia.

Between 1990 and 2007, the average price of heroin, marijuana and cocaine dropped by at least 80 percent in the United States. While, the average purity of heroin increased 60 percent, the purity of cocaine increased by 11 percent, and marijuana purity is up by a startling 161 percent, CNN reports.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration increased seizures of marijuana by 465 percent and heroin seizures rose by 29 percent between 1990 and 2010. Cocaine seizures fell by 49 percent but that may have something to do with the rise in methamphetamine use.

“These findings add to the growing body of evidence that the war on drugs has failed,” said Dr. Evan Wood, Scientific Chair of the International Centre for Science in Drug Policy at the University of British Columbia in Canada, who was involved in the study. “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.”

The research can be found in the journal BMJ Open.
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