Thursday, November 22, 2007

Demand and Supply

We've been hearing recently from the feds about how we're making so much progress in our War on (Some) Drugs because just look at the rising prices of meth and coke in US cities. Leave aside that some city law enforcement types have been saying, "not seeing it in my city." Let's assume it's true (yes, it's the Drug Czar saying it, but assume anyway). Maybe the increase isn't because the efforts have been effective. Maybe it's because the supply, as abundant as it is, isn't keeping up with the demand and, one of the few real insights of economics, prices go up and supply tightens in the areas not providing the most demand.

An annual report on drug use says around 4.5 million Europeans are likely to have used cocaine in the past year - a million more than in 2006.

The EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) says the increase in cocaine seizures and quantities also confirms its status as "Europe's stimulant drug of choice".

Prevalence of the drug is highest in Spain and the UK but the biggest increases are in Denmark and Italy.

About two million Europeans are said to have used cocaine in the past month.

Seizures of cocaine have reached record levels, with 107 tons of the drug being seized in 2005 - up more than 45% on the previous year.

Spain and Portugal are the main points of entry into Europe.

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