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Drug Policies - Drug Policies How is the Drug Industry...

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Drug Policies How is the Drug Industry Organized How big is the drug industry - this is an important question to which we have no real answer - estimates vary depending on source - FBI estimates for 1995 placed world wide drug trade at $1 trillion worldwide - this is almost certainly an underestimation of its real value with the exception of Marijuana, most of the illegal drugs used in the US originate elsewhere (i.e. Columbia, Peru, Ecuador, Thailand, Burma, Turkey, Afghanistan) and the US has little control over much of the drug trade many (if not most) of these countries are extremely poor and illegal drugs contribute significant amounts to the local economies - this factor is often over looked by US officials when they try to “convince” local officials to crack down on the local drug trade unfortunately the real profits are made by Organized Crime at the expense of the user - often because the products are both addictive and illegal markup is phenomenal and mostly benefits US based criminals for example 10 KG Opium 1 KG Heroin 1 KG Heroin 1 KG Heroin Afghanistan Afghanistan US - Wholesale Street Value $1500.00 $11,500.00 $225,000.00 $1,500,000.00 most of the effort and risk is assumed by low level criminals in US and Country of origin – most of the profit is made by “elite” criminals who are far removed from the street. The Health risks Associated with Drug Use the health risks associated with drug use (both legal and illegal) are high - including increased rates of heart disease, lung cancer, cirrhosis of the liver (alcohol), overdoses, etc. made worse by the illegality of many drugs uncertain quality accidental overdoses due to variable strength of drug lack of needle exchanges particularly strong connection with AIDS in the US - over 25% of AIDS cases are from IV drug use 1
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this is much higher than in Canada (2.4%) Sweden (3%) and Holland (7%) - several reasons for this few needle exchanges (illegal here) less education aimed at IV users extreme poverty leads to fatalism among IV drug users more IV drug use among prostitutes in the US than in other countries this connection between AIDS and IV drug use is primarily responsible for the spread of AIDS into the heterosexual community (more so than bisexual males and prostitutes) How Strong is the Connection between Crime and Illegal Drugs
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