Steven Taylor continues the conservation:
[T]he key metrics that end up being used by the US government (as well as the UN and others focused on the supply side of the equation) are hectares under cultivation, hectares eradicated, amount of drugs seized, the price of the drugs in question, and arrests. These are not my metrics chosen to make the policy look bad, they are the metrics used by the designers and defenders of the policy.
As such, when I pointed out that from 1990-2007 that the wholesale price of cocaine has declined, the reason for doing so is to demonstrate that despite the considerable expenditure of taxpayer dollars that the policy is not achieving one of its goals. Price is indicative of supply. Yes, as some have noted, it is not the only factor. However, the basic parameters of the black market in drugs (which inflates the price by itself) were well in place by 1990 and there was reason to assume that the pressure placed on producers and traffickers over a sustained period of time would constrict supply. While there has been some, often temporary, effects on supply, the policy has failed to produce the desired results. Pay attention next time that there is even a small spike in price, and the likelihood is that the ONDCP or some other organization will cite it as evidence of drug war success.
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