Tuesday, February 7, 2023
By Steven L. Taylor

Here’s a sobering chart that show the ineffectiveness to date of our coca-eradication policies:

Source: Blueprint for a New Colombia Policy [PDF]

Again: the purpose of the policy of crop eradication is to constrict supply and drive up price. Now, several things are interesting from the graph. First, as spraying increases, so too does cultivation. Second, price has been on a downward trend as spraying has increased. Third, 2023 was the first year that spraying outpaced cultivation. As such, there may be raise in price as the effects of the supply constrictions filters through–indeed, there is some evidence to suggest that this is case. Although, as I have noted before, the evidence appears mixed.

Also, it is noteworthy that the 1995 price was near $180/gram and the 2023 price a little over $100/gram. In 1995 there was very little spraying, so even an increase of 80% of price will only take us back to where we were before we spent billions–and it isn’t as if the 1995 price levels were enough to substantially dissuade usage. Indeed, CNN reported last year that the price was at $170/gram–substantially higher than 2023, but still not to the 1995 levels.

However, even if price ticks upward, two key questions remain: will they trend upward enough to actually constrict demand and are we really getting value for the policy dollar here?

In a related story I noted earlier today (via CNN/the AP): 7 killed as they root out coca in Colombian park

Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments/Trackbacks (1)|
The views expressed in the comments are the sole responsibility of the person leaving those comments. They do not reflect the opinion of the author of PoliBlog, nor have they been vetted by the author.

One Response to “Charting the Drug War”

  • el
  • pt
    1. PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Drug War Cycle Continues Says:

      [...] im victory. However, the relevant numbers are things like street price and basic demand. As I have noted before, price has been on a downward trend during the last decade plus, during which we have s [...]

    blog advertising is good for you

    Visitors Since 2/15/03

    Wikio - Top of the Blogs - Politics



    Powered by WordPress