In Case You Hadn’t Realized, The War on Drugs Is a Spectacular Failure

All over the world, drugs are cheaper, purer and more plentiful than ever

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DEA / Reuters

Ecstasy pills, which contain MDMA as their main chemical, are pictured in this undated handout photo courtesy of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.

The global “war on drugs” has been such a failure that illegal substances are now cheaper and purer than at any period over the past two decades, warns a new report.

The Vancouver-based International Centre for Science in Drug Policy surveyed data from seven international government-funded drug surveillance systems and concluded that drug use should be considered a public health rather than a criminal justice issue.

The report found there had been a significant rise in the quantity of cocaine, heroin and cannabis seized in most parts of the world since 1990. Nevertheless, the average price of opiates and cocaine in Europe, for example, when adjusted for inflation and purity, decreased by 74% and 51% respectively from 1990 to 2010.