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Invisibleveggie

Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
Illegal drug trade hits new high
    #3909437 - 03/12/05 11:35 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Illegal drug trade hits new high
March 13, 2005
guardian.co.uk

Runaway demand around the globe puts more money into the hands of traffickers despite action to curb supply

The global drug trade is booming, fuelled by the demand from more than 200 million people worldwide who used illegal narcotics last year, new reports show.

According to an as-yet-unpublished UN report, despite multi-billion-pound anti-drug measures that have restricted some supplies, the market is as insatiable as ever.

"We have shown that drugs control policies can work in terms of supply - but demand is a very different matter," a spokesperson from the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) told The Observer .

A second new report, issued by the US State Department, confirms the UN picture of a world using more drugs than ever. Though narcotic use has stabilised in North America, the world's biggest single market, it has boomed in south-east Asia and Australasia, where use of amphetamine-type stimulants, many manufactured in China, has rocketed.

South America, Africa and the Caribbean have also seen serious drug problems emerging. In Europe, though the rapid rise of cocaine use has slowed, an estimated 5.3 per cent of the population used cannabis in the past year and heroin and crack use is still increasing in many regions.

Antonio da Costa, director of the UNODC, said global demand reduction measures in recent years had been "lacklustre [and] uninspiring". In 2001 the office estimated that around 180 million people used drugs in the world. The number is now thought to have increased more than 10 per cent to about 3.5 per cent of the total global population.

The results will disappoint campaigners and administrators who have struggled for years against one of the world's biggest industries and will fuel fears that the 'war on terror' has distracted from efforts to restrict the production and use of narcotics.

There has been a lot of effort, but has the world suddenly said: "Ooh, we don't like drugs"? No, nor is it likely to in the near future, said Harry Shapiro, of the British charity Drugscope. A UNODC spokesmen admitted that drugs had dropped down the international agenda after 9/11 and the subsequent focus on radical Islam. 'There is not the interest these days,' the spokesperson said. 'People seem to have dropped the ball.'

One of the biggest problems has been the explosion of amphetamine-type drugs, especially in the Far East where their use is becoming endemic.

Such drugs are now 'a global phenomenon', says Koli Kouame, of the International Narcotics Control Board, another UN body. 'This is a very contagious phenomenon among the youth,' Kouame said.

The American report shows that demand for drugs has increased in more than three quarters of some 150 countries surveyed.

A number of states have recorded surprising consumption levels - Israelis are said to use 100 tonnes of marijuana, 20 tonnes of hashish, 20 million tablets of ecstasy, four tonnes of heroin, three tonnes of cocaine, and hundreds of thousands of LSD blotters annually.

In Lithuania, there has been a boom in abuse of methadone-type artificial heroin substitutes, while the number of registered heroin addicts in Belarus has doubled. In Finland and Estonia, surveys show an increasing appetite among young people for amphetamine-type stimulants. There have even been drug busts in Iraq - where traffickers have taken advantage of post-invasion chaos to traffic hashish - and in Syria.

'It just goes to show that whatever the penalties - hanging, imprisonment, chopping off hands - there will always be someone who is prepared to traffic, distribute or use drugs,' said Shapiro.

Robert Charles, the American official in charge of Washington's fight against drugs, has been keen to stress the positive.

'The metrics, I think, are beginning to bear out a degree of real success in counter-narcotics and money laundering,' Charles said last week. 'Winning the drug war does not mean that we sort of roll up all bad guys and all future bad guys and ... go home and do something else. It means that we make steady progress in reducing these threats to our security'.

The major achievements, according to Charles, are significant reductions in cocaine production in South America, especially in Colombia, and of opium in the Far East.

However, all drugs experts agree that the massive opium harvests in Afghanistan dominate the landscape. The UNODC hopes that the sheer size of last year's crop - 4,200 tonnes - will mean less being planted in coming years, as a glut brings down prices.

However, the cheap drugs are already having an impact. According to da Costa, 30 countries reported a rise in heroin use since 2003, 25 were stable - and only 18 reported a decrease.


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InvisibleOneMoreRobot3021
Male

Registered: 06/06/03
Posts: 60,932
Loc: the sky
Re: Illegal drug trade hits new high [Re: veggie]
    #3909458 - 03/12/05 11:41 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

veggie said:


A number of states have recorded surprising consumption levels - Israelis are said to use 100 tonnes of marijuana, 20 tonnes of hashish, 20 million tablets of ecstasy, four tonnes of heroin, three tonnes of cocaine, and hundreds of thousands of LSD blotters annually.






Time to make vacation plans!


--------------------
Acid doesn't give you truths; it builds machines that push the envelope of perception. Whatever revelations came to me then have dissolved like skywriting. All I really know is that those few years saddled me with a faith in the redemptive potential of the imagination which, however flat, stale and unprofitable the world seems to me now, I cannot for the life of me shake.

-Erik Davis


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InvisibleDNKYD
Turtle!

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 12,326
Re: Illegal drug trade hits new high [Re: veggie]
    #3909470 - 03/12/05 11:45 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Drugs aren't going away. The users aren't going away. It will not stop. The War on Some Drugs will never see the end they want to see. DEA, UNODC, surrender your weapons, come out with your hands up, and prepare to be held accountable for the atrocities committed in your name.


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Offlinedelta9
Active Ingredient
Male Arcade Champion: Plumber

Registered: 10/29/04
Posts: 5,390
Loc: California
Last seen: 6 years, 1 month
Re: Illegal drug trade hits new high [Re: DNKYD]
    #3909717 - 03/13/05 12:56 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

The DEA doesn't want to see an end... They don't get easy money then.


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delta9


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InvisibleDNKYD
Turtle!

Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 12,326
Re: Illegal drug trade hits new high [Re: delta9]
    #3909737 - 03/13/05 01:01 AM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Of course they don't want to see an end. The war on terror, the war on obesity, the war on some drugs, the war on poverty... this country loves to declare wars that can never be won.


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Invisibledblaney
Human Being

Registered: 10/03/04
Posts: 7,894
Loc: Here & Now
Re: Illegal drug trade hits new high [Re: OneMoreRobot3021]
    #3911010 - 03/13/05 12:47 PM (11 years, 8 months ago)

Anyone know of the legal status of various drugs in Israel?


--------------------
"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln


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