International Drug Control

See Anslinger, Harry J., and U.S. Drug Policy; Psychotropic Substances Convention of 1971; Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs

INTERNATIONAL DRUG SUPPLY SYSTEMS The majority of illicit drugs consumed in the United States are of foreign origin—including all the Cocaine and Heroin and significant amounts of MARIJUANA. In the early 1990s, the U.S. National Narcotics Intelligence Consumer Committee (NNICC) report estimates that Latin American countries supplied approximately 25 to 30 percent of the heroin, perhaps 60 to 80 percent of the marijuana, and all the cocaine. Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern countries supplied the remaining 70 to 75 percent of the heroin.

Drug use and drug abuse have been a part of many cultures for centuries. Although once considered a problem only for countries with massive demand and consequent loss of labor and life, drugs are now recognized as a policy concern for all countries involved—the producing, TRANSIT, and consuming countries alike. No country is insulated from the destabilizing forces of illicit drugs. For SOURCE (producing) countries, drug trafficking appears to provide short-term economic benefits, but mainly for those involved in the business. Eventually, long-term negative economic consequences ensue, with foreign investment, tourism, and domestic production diminished—and with off-shore money laundering and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. The drug trade does not stimulate regional economies through jobs, capital appreciation, and investment.

Since 1971, when modern international drug-control efforts began, a number of major shifts have occurred in the drug-producing capabilities of various countries. For example, in the early 1970s, after the so-called French Connection was broken (Turkish OPIUM was processed into heroin in France), MEXICO replaced Turkey as a major source of U.S. heroin; Pakistan then supplanted Mexico after 1979, when the Islamic political revolution in Iran created a population of refugees. At about the same time, the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, and the resistance movements there increased their income-generating opium cultivation practices.

In the 1980s, cocaine production in the Andean countries of Peru, BOLIVIA, and COLOMBIA expanded significantly into nontraditional growing zones (the Bolivian Chapare region and Peruvian Upper Huallaga Valley, or UHV), augmenting the more traditional licit production areas of the Bolivian Yungas and Peruvian Cuzco regions. In the early 1980s, U.S. demand for Mexican marijuana decreased dramatically, because of consumer con-

TABLE 1

Cocaine Production Estimates

U.S. MEASURE

TABLE 1

Cocaine Production Estimates

U.S. MEASURE

Potential

Net Coca

Estimated

Cocaine HCI

Cultivation

Coca Leaf

Capacity

Source Country

(acres)

Yield (tons)

(tons)

pnnl

1990

299,611

216,590

627-671

reru

1991

298,376

244,970

710-759

1990

124,241

84,480

270-457

Bolivia

1991

118,313

86,240

275-462

Colombia

1990

99,047

33,310

72

1991

92,625

33,000

66

METRIC MEASURE

Estimated

Potential

Net Coca

Coca Leaf

Cocaine HCI

Cultivation

Yield

Capacity

Source Country (hectares)

(metric tons)

Peru

Bolivia

Colombia

1990

121,300

196,900

1991

120,800

222,700

1990

50,300

76,800

1991

47,900

78,400

1990

40,100

32,100

1991

37,500

30,000

570-610 645-690 245-415 250-430 65 60

Potential Cocainc HC1 Production 1990 = 969-1,199 tons 1991 = 1,051-1,287

Potential Cocaine HCI Production 1990 = 880-1,090 metric tons 1991 = 955-1,170 metric tons

NOTE: The figures reflected here are consistent with the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) 1992. The INCSR states cultivation in hectares and yields in metric tons. All figures have been converted to acres or short tons, as appropriate, in the chart on the left. A new procedure introduced in the 1991 INCSR is used for calculating coca leaf production. Previous methods did not deduct immature, non-producing fields from net cultivation before calculating production. Multiple harvests of coca do not begin until plants are at least two years old. Here, only mature cultivation was used to calculate production. Estimates included here for 1990 have been revised to reflect the use of the mature cultivation methodology cited. These figures do appear in the NNICC Report 1990 charts in parenthesis.

According to past UHV Reduction Agency (CORAH) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) reports, the dry leaf yield of mature coca in the UHV ranges between 2.0 and 2.7 metric tons per hectare. A mean yield factor of 2.3 metric tons was used for this area. Other areas of Peru have lower yields similar to the Yungas in Bolivia. Last year's reported yield of 1.14 metric tons was for areas of Peru outside the UHV. According to the Bolivia's Coca Eradication Directorate (DIRECO), mature coca leaf yield averages 2.7 metric tons in the Chapare and 1.0 metric tons in the Yungas. The conversion rate for calculating potential cocaine production from dry leaf is 322-345:1 in Peru and 195-330:1 in Bolivia. Production in Colombia is determined by multiplying a yield factor of .8 metric tons per hectare by net cultivation. All Colombian cultivation was assumed to be mature. The conversion rate for Colombia is 500:1.

SOURCE: International Narcotics Control Strategy Report 1992.

cern about Mexico's drug-elimination program, where marijuana was sprayed with the herbicide paraquat, some of which is reported to have killed U.S. users. Consequently, Colombia replaced Mexico as the preferred source of high quality marijuana. Colombia and Guatemala also began to cultivate substantial amounts of opium in the early 1990s.

Traffickers have also adjusted their smuggling routes in response to government law-enforcement pressures. For example, in the mid-to-late 1980s, Colombian drug traffickers began to shift their routes away from the Florida peninsula and toward Central America and Mexico. By the early 1990s, the U.S. government estimated that up to 50 percent of the Colombian cocaine consumed in the United States entered via Mexico. Wide variations in source-country response to these shifts in production have also been chronicled, ranging from government complicity and corruption to modest attempts to reduce crop production and trafficking to intensified organized efforts to eliminate or hamper seriously the drug trade.

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