Cocaine cheaper and plentiful in 2006

May 5, 2007 at 1:08 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 5 (UPI) -- Cocaine was cheaper and more widely available last year, despite billions of dollars spent by the U. S. government to combat the drug, it was reported.

The United States and its Latin American allies are losing the battle against cocaine, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Cocaine prices dropped more than 12 percent from January to October of last year and the average purity of the cocaine seized in raids rose from about 68 percent to 73 percent, according to statistics released by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

In 2005, the White House touted a surge in cocaine prices and falling levels of quality as proof that its anti-drug policies were working. When those numbers failed to hold in 2006, the Bush administration did little to publicize the new figures, giving critics ammunition about the need for change, the Times said.

"You can spin this anyway you want, but when prices go down and supply goes up, the fact of the matter is that this policy is not working," said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., who supports spending more on economic development.

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