Drugs & The Global Community Dr. A. Dukuzumurenyi
Chemical Commodities• Drugs are called Chemical Commodities because: – 1. They originally came from plants or are derived from plant substances. – 2. They are bought and sold in the marketplace and are subject to the Law of Supply & Demand.
Chemical Commodities• In the world today drugs fall under two categories: –1. Legal Drugs –2. Illegal or Illicit Drugs
Legal Drugs• Examples of Legal Drugs: –1. Prescription Medication –2. Over-the-Counter Medicine –3. Alcohol –4. Tobacco
International Sources of Drugs• Marijuana-Producing Countries: –1. United States –2. Guatemala –3. Paraguay –4. Ghana
International Sources of Drugs–5. Nigeria–6. South Africa–7. Jamaica–8. Haiti–9. Kenya
International Sources of Drugs• Cocaine/Heroin-Producing Countries: –1. Mexico –2. Nicaragua –3. Panama –4. Colombia
International Sources of Drugs–5. Ecuador–6. Peru–7. Bolivia–8. Brazil–9. Venezuela
International Sources of Drugs–6. Morocco–7. Syria–8. Iran–9. Afghanistan–10. Pakistan
International Sources of Drugs–11. India–12. Nepal–13. Bhutan–14. Myanmar–15. Burma
International Sources of Drugs–16. Thailand–17. Laos
Drugs: Global Connections• There are no accurate statistics on the production and sales of illegal drugs.
Drugs: Global Connections• However, the U.S. Government has estimates on the amount of heroin, cocaine and marijuana produced in other countries and shipped into the United States.
Drugs: Global Connections• Almost all of the heroin sold in the United States now comes from three areas of the world. –1. Southwest Asia –2. Mexico –3. Southeast Asia
Drugs: Global Connections• Southwest Asian opium is processed into heroin primarily in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.• Until the mid-1980s this region probably produced just under 50% of the U.S. heroin supply.
Drugs: Global Connections• Since 1985 the fraction of heroin coming from Southwest Asia has declined and may have fallen below the production of Mexico.
Drugs: Global Connections• In 1985 Illegal opium fields and heroin labs in Mexico accounted for a little over 33% or 1/3 of U.S. heroin supplies and increased in the 1990s to 40%
Drugs: Global Connections• From the Golden Triangle area of Southeast Asia (Burma, Laos and Thailand) comes most of the rest of the heroin.
Drugs: Global Connections• In 1985 15% of the heroin in the United States came from the Golden Triangle. In the mid 1990s this number had grown to nearly 40%.
Drugs: Global Connections• In 2000, 40% of the United States heroin supply came from Southwest Asia, 40% from Mexico, 20% from Southeast Asia and 20% from South America.
Drugs: Global Connections• Almost 33% or 1/3 of the available marijuana in the United States comes from Mexico, where it is grown on both small and very large farms controlled by large trafficking organizations.
Drugs: Global Connections• Nearly 33% of the U.S. marijuana supply is imported from Colombia with smaller amounts coming from Jamaica, Belize and other countries.
Drugs: Global Connections• Both the quantity and quality of “home-grown” U.S. marijuana production has been increasing, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) estimates that as of 1987, 19% of the available marijuana was grown in the U.S.
Drugs: Global Connections• From the late 1970s to the early 1980s, cocaine use increased dramatically in the United States.
Drugs: Global Connections• At present over 22 million Americans have used cocaine, and over a million more are at risk for continuing or increasing their use of cocaine.
Drugs: Global Connections• The cocaine industry in the United States may be worth well over $100 billion a year.
Drugs: Global Connections• Miami has become the symbol of commerce in cocaine, and stories of intercepted shipments, huge profits and gangland violence are well known throughout America.
Drugs: Global Connections• Houston and Los Angeles are also major sites for importation and sales, but every major American city has become the scene of frequent cocaine dealing.
Drugs: Global Connections• In 1986 the news media began to focus on a new form of cocaine, called crack or rock. Compared to the snow-like crystals of cocaine hydrochloride, this solid form is more easily transported, divided, and sold on the streets.
Drugs: Global Connections• Widespread plantings of coca fields in Peru and Bolivia in the mid-1980s pushed their production of cocaine ahead of the traditional source country, Colombia.
Drugs: Global Connections• By 1987 the DEA estimated that Peru produced about 100,000 tons of coca leaf, Bolivia about 50,000 tons, and Colombia about 20,000 tons.
Drugs: Global Connections• The coca leaves are processed into cocaine hydrochloride in illegal laboratories located either in Colombia, in the country of origin (Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador), or Brazil or Argentina.
Drugs: Global Connections• Supplies of cocaine have increased and the wholesale prices have actually declined in spite of major eradication efforts.
Drugs: Global Connections• The business has come increasingly under control of larger organizations, the biggest of which are Colombian.
Value of Illegal Drugs• A lot is said about the street value of illegal drugs. These values are based on the estimated final sale price, not on the actual value of the amount seized.
Value of Illegal Drugs• If 100 pounds of marijuana is said to have a street value of $160,000 for example, you have to assume that the marijuana is separated into individual doses, rolled into “joints” and each joint sold at
Value of Illegal Drugs• This is like calculating the value of a ton of iron ore in terms of the value of the Cadillacs that could be made from it. The realities of the marketplace are quite different.
Value of Illegal Drugs• There aren’t that many buyers for 100 pounds of marijuana, and they’re taking a big risk just handling that amount of contraband.
Value of Illegal Drugs• The fewer buyers a dealer works with, the less risk, so the large dealer might, for example, sell 10 packages of 10 pounds each.
Value of Illegal Drugs• If that pattern continued, the next level would involve 100 people buying 1 pound each, and finally 1600 people each buying 1 ounce.
Value of Illegal Drugs• Some end-users might then roll up an ounce into individual joints, smoke some and sell some. In reality, the final selling price for 100 pounds would almost always total less than $160,000.
Value of Illegal Drugs• A common theme found in stories about the illicit drug trade relates to the high profits and how easy it is to get rich quick by becoming a drug dealer.
Value of Illegal Drugs• The profits are spread out over a fairly large number of people at several levels. The small dealers at the local level often make almost nothing, especially if you subtract the amounts they themselves use.
Value of Illegal Drugs• The per sale profit is, of course, larger for the people who deal in larger amounts. But one does not simply walk around with 100 pounds of marijuana in one’s back pocket.
Value of Illegal Drugs• To deal in these larger amounts requires help in transporting, protecting, and arranging deals, handling the cash, and so on, and more mouths to feed.
Value of Illegal Drugs• There is no doubt that a few people do indeed make fat profits and live very well ( especially considering they pay no income taxes on this cash business).
Value of Illegal Drugs• But it is a myth that anyone can get rich in a hurry just by deciding to take the chance and sell illegal drugs.
Value of Illegal Drugs• Efforts at regulating the illicit drug market has resulted in better organized gangs of traffickers rather than in reducing the size of the market.
Value of Illegal Drugs• The size of the market is not reduced because as drug suppliers are arrested they are replaced by other individuals. As supplies of drugs are seized they are replaced by new supplies.
Value of Illegal Drugs• A major factor in regulating the size of the illicit drug market is the size of the demand. To properly regulate the drug trade, the reason for the high demand for the drugs most be addressed.
Critical Thinking Questions• 1. Why are illegal drugs in such a high demand among the rich and poor alike?• 2. What can be done to decrease the high demand for illegal drugs?