"the total weight of cocaine seized actually fell by 15 per cent a year, and it has halved in five years"
what an utter stupid argument, just cuz you dont seize it, doesnt mean its not there!
The price of cocaine has dropped so dramatically in the last ten years that a line of Bolivian marching powder is now cheaper than a pint of lager or a glass of wine, the Telegraph reports. The Home Office - using data collected by police forces and the Serious Organised Crime Agency - reckons that while in 1998 a gram of …
"A reduction in price may be associated with increased competition or reduced demand, not just increased availability."
It's that kind of pitiful understanding of marketplace economics that has got us into the financial mess we're in now.
Quod erat demonstrandum - ah how the brains of Britain runs our nation.
The governement says that alcohol and smoking are bad for us so they crank up the taxes to make said naughty products to pricey to buy. Drugs however are cheap as chips in comparison, you can buy an E for £1.50 !! - A whole night of sweating and gurning with chavs for £1.50 or you could get pi$$ed for £100. Then they wonder why more and more people are turning to drugs, because they are cheap, they are trying to take our normal sources of relaxation so people are turning to "alternatives".
The price of cannabis has also fallen significantly in real terms over the last twenty years. Just goes to show that all that prohibition and war on drugs has had little effect. If we could control and tax the market like with nicotine then the prices would be going up every year and usage would actually reduce.
Shame the Conservatives are spouting the same old rubbish and advocating the same failed policies we have had for the last thirty years. The intelligent response would be to put the dealers out of business, bring in tax revenue and make the products less glamorous and exciting by selling them in Boots.
>These startling figures show the reality of drug use in Britain.
Err, no. These startling figures show the ineffectiveness of the police force, border control and HM Customs and Excise in stopping the stuff from entering the country in such huge quantities as to make it so cheap. I suggest Wacky Jacqui creates a database immediately to count all incoming cocaine shipments so they can be tracked and intercepted whever PC Plod needs to be seen to be doing something. Tag the stuff with rfids and force the drug mules to carry ID cards. That should sort it.
Lager is clearly too expensive. What this shows is that in order to maintain the price differential, the government needs to urgently slash the level of alcohol tax, in order to massively reduce the price of our favourite tipples.
This will also have several positive side effects on the current economic blip/recession/slump/depression/apocalypse*:
Firstly, people will be happy and dancing (vomiting coming a close second) in the streets.
Secondly the boost in spending in pubs, including a rise in the sales of crisps, peanuts, kebabs and other ancillary items, will provide a positive economic stimulus.
Thirdly it will help to relieve the problem of unemployment. There will be extra work as bar staff, and for those unfortunates unable to get work, there will at least be plenty of cheap booze to spend their giros on.
Put simply, there are no downsides. This is clearly the only correct move for the Chancellor. Sensible Policies, for a Happy Britain!
*delete as applicable
Wot no pint of beer logo?!?!? Had to use a smiley, drunken face instead.
I doubt I'll be the last to rant at this junk science but here goes anyway:
* Not comparing like with like: a pint might be £2.75 in a pub but it's cheaper at home. Know any cocaine houses where one can drop in for a line? Me neither.
* What's a "hit?": A cheeky half-pint might equally be comparable.
* More confusion: The effects of alcohol last hours; the effects of cocaine minutes. You'll probably need more of the latter, then.
* Another pointless comparison: The government has failed to stem the tide of Sterling leaving this country, to the extent that a euro is now worth roughly the same as a pound. This is outrageous (and equally irrelevant).
A pint costs more than coke because of the huge amount of excise duty levied by the government. These "shocking" figures could be instantly fixed by cutting tax on booze or legalising and taxing drugs.
Of course, either of these solutions might encourage recreation instead of generating income.
... when the aim of the "War on Drugs" is not to reduce any harm from drugs, but to simply ban ban and ban.
I heard a spokesperson on the radio recently saying "we have seized more cocaine than ever before. Therefore the war on drugs is being won."
No, dickbrain. If you are using the amount of drugs seized to measure your success, then don't be surprised if you seize more and more every year. Otherwise the police would have nothing to do.
Now if you wanted to measure the success of the "War on Drugs" as a reduction in people treated for addiction/overdoses, then you might consider scrapping prohibition ....
And our current gov think this is a good stat. Like it’s a success to be finding less of the stuff flooding in.
Lets face it the two figures match up - Seized amount down = more getting through to street = more supply = lower price.
Simple logic. If they seized a high percentage of shipments then that would cause the price to go up, both from supply and demand as well as from the dealers having to charge more to re-coop costs of lost shipments.
Paris - cus even she knows about supply and demand.
you policy too many things, you do too little on each point.
what do you think about a bunch of ignorant that can not see the difference between opium base drugs and extasis-like drugs?
they will never reconize that the biggest damage of drugs are the mafia related one, not the heath ones.
My cynic side always told me that when a state do not tax someting is becouse they cant physically or they doing it in other more efficent way(for them).
Btw, the price should be per 1 gram of active subtance. if it is not the argument is flawed.
Where do they get 1 gram of pure colombian at 20 quid in UK?
'Using data collected by the police'
Um... how exactly? Do they ask for a price list from any dealers they bust?
Sounds like a wild guesstimation to me.
If they want us to believe that there are people out there selling it for £20 a gram they need to prove it. Ideally by giving us their names, telephone numbers and an introduction. Obviously we would need to try a bit. Just to test that it really is cocaine.
Being serious for a moment though - We have the government saying the price drop is because demand has gone down, we have the opposition saying that it is because the amount being smuggled in has gone up. There is a third option though - The dealers are just cutting it with more shit.
The government have previously stated themselves that cocaine siezed is much less pure than 10 years ago, so surely it has nothing to do with demand changing, just that a gram of pure coke now makes 4 grams on the street instead of two - As a result the supply has gone up (sort of) but people are less willing to pay £££s for it.
Or the prices will go up. The government loves taxing stuff that gets you wasted. Wobbilies were one squid last time i checked, down from a fiver. That's consumer power for you, a night of dancing and no need to buy a drink for a quid!
Must dash now, off to murder some grannies and steal their pension to pay for my drug addiction. Being the head of a global bank during in these hard times means expenses won't cover my habit.
What do you actually get? I mean it's not all going to be coke- what's the purity of it on average at the various price points? And has the cost per gram - compensated for any drop in quality- actually fallen?
Compared with lager that's single-figure-percentages, it could still look promising...
How about a damage-to-body-from-active-ingredients chart?
Figure in the cost of interdiction efforts, usage enforcement, court costs, prison costs, lost productivity, and I'm sure a host of other costs.
Now, figure what eliminating all that and adding a nice tax for the sale of legal drugs, profits to liquor/drug stores, less costs for substance abuse clinics and staff and retraining all the prison and other enforcement officials that are now looking for new positions.
The results? You figure it out, but a substantial bit of our national deficit is likely to go away, and we stop subsidizing the most vile criminals in the world with tax-free loot.
If cocaine and heroin are coming down in price, then so also should crimes such as muggings and burglaries. Junkies wont need as much money to feed their habit, therefore crime goes down.
Of course this crime reduction is spoilt by the contrasting increase in the price of beer.
Don't be surprised if you see this description in an appeal to find a mugger next time you see CrimeWatch -
'Middle-aged man, 5'8", large belly, greying hair and long beard, wearing 'Suffolk Beer Festival 2006' T-shirt and a CAMRA badge.'
Mine's the one with a pocketful of unused beer tokens because they ran out of beer.
I hear that the old 'trumpet' is now so cheap that the more 'switch on' members of the Welsh Philarmonic have now actually started to use 'hooter' for cleaning the valves on....you guessed it - their trumpets! This has however caused some problems during performances which all stems from what has become affectionately known as 'trumpet blow back', which occurs quite frequently on most brass instruments. Basically musicians, on occassion suck instead of blow, which deposits (over the course of a performance) a micro thin layer of 'jazz dust' on the mucous membrane of the victim, causing problems with timing, sweating and irritability. Recently during a performance of 'Dylan Thomas - man, legend, crap poet' perfomed in the Llandewi Brefi Village Hall, a fight broke out between the lead cornet player and the second baritone, when, due to the impact of 'gac inhalation' the cornet player started playing that famous U-Roy classic 'Me Woman aint got no rizlas' in the middle of the national anthem.
Has anybody else got some 'chortle - worthy' anecdotes?
Cocaine is *not* cheaper than beer!
A nasty mix of amphetamine, bicarbonate of soda and ground-up aspirin, however, may well be cheaper than beer. As the penalty for dealing substandard drugs is no harsher than the penalty for dealing high-quality drugs, there is a direct incentive *against* selling quality product.
Most people would just legalise everything, bar straight poison.
And all the dictators at the top don't want to do what the people want.
WTF, this is a democracy or it isn't, we should have a vote every year, and abide by that.
If not let's just accept that we live in a totalitarian, rolling 4 year dictatorship, and start sorting out the revolution for democracy and freedom.
With the depression kicking in, there won't be much else to do, if you go from democracy at least you get a chance at freedom.
In my town known as the Olympic Capital (Lausanne, IOC general headquarters here, what a maffia, but that's an other subject...), I can find cocaine any hour of the day. And they won't check my age.
While in shops, you can't buy alcohol any hour of the day, and they will check your age.
And here, it's been down to 100 CHF a gram since a good 2 years, that's rightly approx 40 £...
As to the comment, here too they are seizing less, but there's more on the streets : the immediate conclusions are that :
-since Schengen, less controls at the borders
-police are less to be working on that subject (it costs but doesn't pay, politics prefer to ask policemen to go put parking tickets...)
-importers have made progress not to be caught
2 days ago newspapers title : a net of 35 small dealers arrested in Lausanne. All of them immediately replaced on the streets, no worry. And all of them arrested for 3-4 days then free again since they are all without passports from countries that don't recognize them and didn't do re-admission contracts with our government... (Nigerians for 95% of them)
And now, it's harder to find weeds in the streets, since they closed the shops you could buy it from a couple of years ago... So more black market, more fights, more troubles, etc...
Happy world we live in, but god do our politicians make all they can to annoy us...
... that folk who indulge in either have no taste.
I mean, really. Cocaine or lager? I'll pass, thanks. I'm too old for drugs, and we have real beer here in California, thankyouverymuch.
Mine's the one with the Arrogant Bastard in the left pocket, the Maximus IPA in the right pocket, and the Bigfoot Ale in the inner pocket.
Firstly, you can't get 10-20 lines out of a gram of cocaine. Maybe 4 nice ones, and although you can find it at £35 the better stuff is always sold at £40.
The effects of cocaine, contrary to what an earlier poster believes, do not last "a few minutes". You tend to have a rush for a good 2-3 hours or so, but if you take when you go out you'll inadvertently spend just as much money on drinks as you normally would so all round it's not like it's cheap.
Cocaine isn't cheap - I know people who go through 3 grammes on a big night, you'd have a hard time spending £120 on booze in one go like that, and if you did, hey, you probably wouldn't remember it anyway ;-)
Cocaine isn't as evil as people seem to think it is either, as with every addictive substance, as long as you are responsible and know your limits it's fine, and unlike alcohol I have never experienced a significant hang over from it.
Plus it doesn't stop your meaty bits from working. But it's still expensive.
Mine's the one with the Colombian passport in the inside pocket ;-)
We need some kind of Google Maps mashup to help us locate this cheap coke.
And possibly some kind of thread on moneysavingexpert.com
And while we're at it, do any dealers offer Quidco/cashback?
And, if the Police want to boost their 'we captured X tons' stats, why don't they take a (cocoa) leaf out of the dealers books and cut it with glucose? You've doubled your (apparent) work with little/no extra input!
could it be all the politicians are passing on their parliamentary bulk discount?
Now that is a real stimulation package, work's in Australia Just like at Captain Bligh and prime Minister Krudd. Must be good stuff like most politicians they are highly on the straw line nose...
If gubmint really and truly cared about the health and welfare of its citizenry, it would not illegalize marijuana (harmless) while allowing alcohol and cigarettes (documented health risks) or the sometimes dodgy legal pharmaceuticals being prescribed left, right, and center for whatever new "ailment du jour" the pharmaceutical industry can cook up ("oppositional defiant syndrome"? please). Legalise it, control the supply and quality (this would reduce the number of folks found with needles in their arms and rat poison in their veins, yes?), tax it as one does beer and cigs, and sell it wherever regulated substances (pharmaceuticals, liquor, tobacco) are sold. Solves the criminal element problem, reduces the power of criminal gangs/cartels overnight (until they find something else to traffic), reduces public health problems (overdoses, secondary level harms from being victims of drug- related crime), and creates funding for rehab, addiction prevention ("safe use"), and other services that are needed now (despite, or rather, because of, the "war on drugs") but hugely underfunded.
Two problems: (1) The alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceutical industries have become too damn comfortable with being a leisure- substance monopoly and will spend their last dimes buying enough Congresscritters to keep real reform from happening (I assume similar will happen across the pond). This must stop. Bringing the ATP troika into the equation as part of the supply chain (grow MJ alongside tobacco, maybe?) and ensuring that currently- illegal drugs will be taxed similarly (so there is no cost incentive for customers to dump beer and take up cocaine) might work. (2) Too many law enforcement agencies have become addicted to the stream of "war on drugs" funding for their whiz-bang robocop gadgets, and too many prison builders like the idea of building more jails into which people charged with drug crimes can be thrown (did CCA's stock spike when California passed its "three strikes" law?). This too must stop. Redirecting policepower away from drugs and related problems should free up some boys and girls in blue to work on community building and crime prevention (which saves us all money in the long run).
We're continually being bombarded with stuff about the "laws of supply and demand" but apparently cocaine doesn't follow those laws because if it did then it would be getting cheaper because there's just not enough people consuming the stuff. Too much supply and not enough demand.
But then if drug use dropped think of all the people who would find themselves redundant. Its a microcosm of the "Global War on Terror" -- you have to have these shadowy threats because there's all these people who depend on protecting us from them for their livelihood.
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In nearly 25 years of touring as a roadie (until about 1995) cocaine was nearly always about £60. So much so that we used it to settle debts, exchange money etc a wrap of coke was worth an 'International Unit'.
I don't ever remember an 'average price of £74', anymore than £60 was a generally a rip off, that said, good quality stuff was always more expensive. As for £40 a gram, you can pay that in any area where there a lots of students and the quality is shit -talcum powder or baby laxative.
I'm surprised Keith Vaz hasn't stepped up to the plate, anything to get his mug on TV and voice some idiotic opinion.
" suggest Wacky Jacqui creates a database immediately to count all incoming cocaine shipments so they can be tracked and intercepted whever PC Plod needs to be seen to be doing something. Tag the stuff with rfids and force the drug mules to carry ID cards. That should sort it."
Just make sure there are no apostrophes involved.
First off, a £20 gram, will be about 10% coke, 90% mescalin or teething powder. until this country can produce it's own cocain (never) or get rid those terribly annoying import restrictions, i wouldn't touch a £20 gram with yours! (nose that is).
It will also not be a gram, it will .7 or more likely .6
Secondly, if you were to take 20 lines out of 1gram of powder, you're telling me that the lines will be 0.05 of a gram!!!! WTF WTF WWWTTTTFFFFF who the hell does these pissing studies? MY GOD YOU TWATS, join the real world!
try this, it's generally universaly standard, your 'gram' will be 30 - 45% pure, it will weigh between .7 - .9, you will NEVER get a full one, just think about why that is from the dealers perspective. You will get 5 to 6 lines out of it, and it will cost you £40.
I don't understand who these idots speak to when they are dong these incredulous studies, it's insulting, even more so because the mail crowd will be all up in arms again...
A few years ago, they would stil be .9, but they would be 70% pure and would cost you £50, so if anything, it has got more expensive.
Can someone give me a research grant for, er, further studies please :D
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