The Frontal Cortex

Cheap Heroin

Wait, I thought the war on drugs was supposed to make heroin more expensive:

Grams of highly pure Afghan heroin are now trading at $90 in LA. That’s about a dime per pure milligram, compared with $2.50 a pure milligram in New York during the “French Connection” days. For a naive user, 5mg of heroin is a hefty dose, so your first heroin experience is now available for less than the price of a candy bar.

That’s from Mark Kleiman. As far as I can tell, the only good reason for continuing our futile drug policy, and locking up millions of addicts and dealers (not to mention our military aid to Colombia), is that it was supposed to make the drugs more expensive on the street. But since that’s clearly not the case – cocaine is now 80 percent cheaper in inflation adjusted terms than it used to be – isn’t it time we give up this godforsaken approach? A few more years of the war on drugs, and we might just succeed in making heroin free. (Especially if we can’t contain the opium harvest in Afghanistan.)


  1. #1 Roy
    December 28, 2006

    Look at how the US dollar has been sliding against the euro, the pound sterling, and the Canadian dollar. Correct for the deteriorating dollar and you’ll be even more depressed.

    It’s worth mentioning that in the days of Popeye Doyle, heroin was available only in New York City, pretty much. The rest of the country had to read about it. Now it’s available in every city in the contiguous 48 states (I have no info on Alaska or Hawaii.) and not just urban areas but rural as well.

    On the bright side, the law enforcement agencies are making money like never before, and the private businesses corrections has outsourced to are making fortunes.

  2. #2 PJames
    December 31, 2006

    I find this hard to believe because the Mexican Mafia has effectively controlled the heroin market in LA as well as the entire Left Coast. If this is so, who is bringing it in? Where is your source of information coming from, law enforcement or the streets? If this is indeed a fact, there will be a great number of overdoses and deaths in the months to come. I would like to know more about which cartel is involved. As a recovering heroin addict, I know this will occur and if it is indeed true there will be gang warfare as well to get control of the product which will also keep the morgues busy.

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