Dozens of U.S. cities are facing a shortage of cocaine, causing prices to skyrocket as law enforcement efforts in the United States, Mexico, and Central and South America disrupt sources, says the Detroit Free Press. White House drug czar John Walters said reports from investigators across the country indicate what he called an unprecedented shortage of the drug in at least 37 cities, including Detroit, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Boston.
Walters said a declining supply that could lead to fewer people using the drug. “This is on a wide scale,” he said. “Obviously we’re pleased. This means there are fewer people being harmed by the drug.” He said there was no way to quantify the shortage nationwide or any particular markets. He said dealers are having trouble locating cocaine and prices are increasing significantly. The average price of a kilogram of cocaine in Detroit was between $18,500 and $24,000 in the last three months of 2006 and has continued to rise since then, by as much as 70 percent. Walters said a contraction in the drug market generally leads to less violence, adding that most violent acts associated with drug use are committed by users under the influence.