Narconomics

Narconomics

Tom Wainwright

Attempts to raise the price of cocaine by forcing up the cost of coca leaves is a bit like trying to drive up the price of art by raising the cost of paint. Gerhard Richter, whose canvases sell for up to $46 million, would not lose sleep if the price of the oil paints used in his works of art doubled, or even quintupled. And in the same way, as long as counternarcotics agencies focus their fire on the earliest, lowest-value stages in the cocaine supply chain, the drug cartels need not worry too much about their bottom lines.

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