As a follow up to Monday's UN world drug report the Economist, a long time supporter of drug law reform, has published a tongue in cheek editorial yesterday tellingly demonstrating how the global illicit drug market operates as a multinational business much like any other, albeit minus any legal regulatory framework, and with violence as its modus operandi. The only laws the market responds to are those of supply and demand. The piece also subtly highlights the irrelevance of current enforcement measures.
Is the narcotics industry in trouble?
"FOR decades business has been booming. Over the years rival operators have found ways to lift production, they have devised inventive supply chains that reach across the globe and have expanded markets so that they supply loyal consumers in almost every country. Estimates are hard to confirm, not least because enterprises have been reluctant to open their accounts to public scrutiny, but the industry was thought to claim global annual sales of some $320 billion in 2005 (tax free). And although some better-known trade bodies (the Medellin and Cali cocaine cartels, for example) have been forced to close shop, largely as a result of tough state regulation, the industry as a whole remains in rude health."