Cocaine production, purity declining
December 10th, 2010
01:07 PM ET

Cocaine production, purity declining

Cocaine is taking a hit, the White House says.

President Obama’s drug czar has announced that several indicators - both stateside and in Colombia, which provides 95 percent of America’s cocaine - show that purity, production and use of the drug is in decline.

Saying Americans were using too many drugs that stoke violence and instability around the world, Gil Kerlikowske further explained, “That is why the Obama Administration is working to restore balance to our drug control efforts by emphasizing demand reduction at the same time we are supporting our international allies in their efforts to curb the supply of these drugs.”

Some figures of note:

- Colombia’s production capacity has dropped from an estimated 700 metric tons in 2001 to 270 tons last year.

- Despite increases in the use of methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana, surveys show the number of cocaine users 12 and older has dropped from 2.1 million in 2007 to 1.6 million in 2009. Also, a fifth fewer 18- to 25-year-olds are using the drug.

- Retail purity, which was about 60 percent in 2002 and which spiked to 71 percent in 2006, is now around 45 percent.

- Purity of bulk shipments seized in or en route to the U.S. dropped from 85 percent in 2006 to 73 percent in 2010.

- The number of positive cocaine tests among American workers dropped from 74 per 10,000 tests (2002) to 29 positives (2009).

Touting her agency’s work to reduce supply globally and demand at home, acting Drug Enforcement Administration chief Michele Leonhart said in a statement, “Cartels and trafficking networks are on the run, our global partners are united, and demand for cocaine in the U.S. is decreasing.”

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Filed under: Crime • Drug violence • Drugs
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Cesar


    December 10, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Protoman

      The problem is two fold. Supply and distribution. If you kill one roach there will be another one popping up to take its place. You've got to starve them. Cocaine is one of their main money makers along with pot, heroin and crystal meth. You can eliminate the plantations growing cocaine and heroin and legalize pot. Synthetics could then be targeted with more vigilance. The problem exists so badly in Mexico because it is a relatively poor nation and is a direct trade route from South America.

      December 10, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bob

    Finally the CIA has found a new revenue stream. Thank Goodness.

    December 10, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. IFellForIt

    Nice fail CNN, who wrote that crap? Drugs go in and out of style, people moving away from cocaine to use other drugs is not a victory for the complete waste of tax payer money called "the drug war".

    December 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ivy

    We Won....We Won the drug was all worth lets get those "pot" smokers and execute them..all in a day's work

    December 10, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      youre an idiot

      December 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Really?

    What has happen to our country when even the quality of our drugs are in the decline?

    December 10, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. flossmore

    Write your congressman and tell he or she that we deserve better drugs here in America! Or ....better yet, go directly down to Colombia and have a tour of the coke labs themselves. Those mountain drug lords will really show you what it's all about. Bottoms up!!

    December 10, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • bkadoctaj

      Coke labs? Did you know it's not synthesized? It's an extract of the coca plant.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bob

    Uh oh, better get CIA on the scene so the US economy can stay afloat.

    December 10, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. the wiki

    The cia's current drug import infrastructure cannot keep pace with population growth, so these numbers are fudged. imagine any inner-city usa being cut-off from crack cocaine. the city burns when you take rodney king from them, whattaya think they'll do if you cut-off their drug supply. there WILL be wiki's on this. count on it.

    December 10, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jackrabbit

    they cant celebrate touch or the us govt will take all their $ for the drug war and they wont have anything to do. Just wait a minute and the demand will go back up when the economy goes up. Cyclic in nature.

    December 10, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. phil

    To maintain the current unemployment rate, over 150,000 jobs must be created each month, in order to keep pace with population growth. This factor alone explains American drug use fluctuation. Supply infrastructures reach their maximum potential, and new strategies are implemented. It's hard to keep pace. Before abortion was legal, it was near impossible.

    December 10, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Protoman

    It's good news I guess, but I still think it would be more cost effective to kill off all the plantations.

    December 10, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. phil

    Like when Aristide became Hait's president. The first thing he did was make it illegal for the ciia to funnel the SE Asia drug money (an operation Ross Perot himself exposed back in the Reagan era) through Haitian banks. Next thing you know, there's a rebellion in Haiti, and all the rebels have brand-new M-16's. The news reported drug use down in the usa. And there you have it. don't shoot me.

    December 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mmmmm

    Terrible statistics doesn't sound like much of a dent in transport or use

    December 10, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tuffyturf

    I used to snort cocaine, but then I switched to Oxycontin because I get a bottle of it for $10 through my insurance and I use half and sell the other half for $80 a pill.....That way I can continue living in Mexico manufacturing meth...ah, my beer is warm...

    December 10, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. phil

    @tuffyturf...good point.

    December 10, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
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