Steven Taylor produces the above graph on cocaine prices:

[W]e are spending billions of dollars a year to try and stop cocaine production and the trafficking of said substance into the United States.  We are not getting what we are paying for.  The numbers above clearly demonstrate that even with increased crop eradication and constant “record seizures” of the drug by land and at sea are not accomplishing the stated goals of the policies and therefore calls into serious question whether they are worth the expenditures in question.  Indeed, it is quite clear that the ability of coca famers to produce enough coca leaf to overtake whatever successes that are accomplished in crop eradication and cocaine seizures is quite clear.  Such overproduction is simply the cost of doing business.  This is a lesson, by the way, that we need to keep in mind in Afghanistan, where the policy direction it towards crop eradication of opium poppies.  I predict now that even if thousands upon thousands of hectares or opium poppies are eradicated, that the poppy farmers will be able to out produce the eradicators.

Jacob Sullum notes a damning AP article from Friday chronicling the drug war's numerous failures.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to