Is Drug War Failing In Texas? Border Enforcement Up, Prices Drop


To understand the failure of the drug war in Texas, check state public safety director Steve McCraw’s testimony this week to a state Senate Committee, says the Grits for Breakfast blog. In the last three months local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have seized more than 350,000 pounds of marijuana in Texas’ border region, as well as more than 1,000 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 125 pounds of heroin and more than 1,800 pounds of cocaine.

The logic behind drug interdiction is to remove illegal drugs from the market, making them more scarce. If successful, the tactic should increase the price of drugs. The opposite is occurring. McCraw said that in 2009, the year the stepped-up border security efforts began, the cost of marijuana was $551 per pound; today, it’s $452 per pound. Cocaine was $29,000 per pound, he said; today it’s $11,000 per pound. Meth was $37,988 per pound in 2009, said McCraw; now it’s $14,866. Heroin was $40,000 per pound in 2009; now it’s $21,534. Under basic principles of supply and demand, reducing supply should increase prices. That’s not what’s happening.

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