Global Drug Use Down, Except For…


According to a U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime report, drugs are finally losing the global war on drugs. Seizures are up. Colombia’s strapping coca production is down. Pot is losing popularity worldwide, and U.S. users are less interested in blow. The smuggling efforts of the occasional OC mom notwithstanding, the recent data look promising.

Except, um, for Afghanistan, host to some 30,000 international troops, birthplace of more than 90 percent of the world’s heroin, where the province of Helmand alone is now cultivating three times as much opium as the entire second-largest-producing country, military junta- and general chaos-ruled Burma, which isn’t even occupied by the Red Cross.

Though drug enforcement successes have thwarted some traditional trafficking routes, the report states, smugglers are instead setting their sights on Africa as the hot new transport spot. So, users and pushers, take heart: Even if average production is down, the ease with which goods move around a global marketplace should keep prices on their hard two-decade decline. Happy International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking!

—Nicole McClelland

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