Drug Law
Drug Law

DEA Responds to 2009 UN Drug Report, Claims Success

DEA Acting Administrator Michele Leonart issued the following statement in response to the release of the 2009 United Nations World Drug Report:

“Today’s newly-released United Nation’s World Drug Report confirms DEA’s global enforcement strategy successes targeting the major drug trafficking organizations, particularly their leadership, financial infrastructure and transportation facilitators ,” said DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “Working closely with our domestic and international counterparts , we have realized unprecedented victory in disrupting and dismantling criminal cartels worldwide and impacting the illegal drug market, as this report attests. The dangerous link between drugs and crime is irrefutable, and we continue to face challenges, however, we are certain our global partnership will prevail in defeating this world -wide threat .”


Summary of World Drug Report 2009:


Overview:


In 2008 a 19 percent reduction in opium poppy cultivation took place in Afghanistan. In Columbia a 18 percent reduction in coca cultivation took place. Data is not complete enough to estimate the global reduction in opium and coca production, rather, there is little doubt a decrease occurred.


According to survey’s of users in the world biggest markets drug use is shrinking for cannabis, cocaine, and opiates. Several indications indicate the global problem with amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) is worsening. 30 percent of global seizures in 2007 were made in the Near and Middle East. Methamphetamine precursors are increasingly being trafficked to Central and South America.


This is the first year ranges were used when making estimates in the World Drug Report. While this complicates comparison to previous years it has been implemented to help present more accurate estimates.

Important Quotes:

  • “Today’s newly-released United Nation’s World Drug Report confirms DEA’s global enforcement strategy successes targeting the major drug trafficking organizations, particularly their leadership, financial infrastructure and transportation facilitators ,” said DEA Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “Working closely with our domestic and international counterparts , we have realized unprecedented victory in disrupting and dismantling criminal cartels worldwide and impacting the illegal drug market, as this report attests. The dangerous link between drugs and crime is irrefutable, and we continue to face challenges, however, we are certain our global partnership will prevail in defeating this world -wide threat .”
  • The Director of the US Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, said: "The World Drug Report 2009 demonstrates that drugs are a problem that touches every nation. All of us have a responsibility to address drug abuse within our societies. Internationally, the Obama Administration is committed to expanding demand reduction initiatives to ensure that all those struggling to overcome addiction, especially in developing countries, have access to effective treatment programs. We have learned a great deal about the disease of drug addiction and know that treatment works. Through comprehensive and effective enforcement, education, prevention, and treatment we will be successful in reducing illicit drug use and its devastating consequences.”
  • “A free market for drugs would unleash an epidemic, while a regulated one would create a parallel black market. Legalization is not a magic wand that would suppress both mafias and drug abuse.” Mr. Costa – Head of UNODC
  • Greater efficiency in law enforcement is encouraged to focus on the small number of high profile, high volume, and violent criminals instead of the large volumes of petty offenders; the ratio of drug use to drug traffickers is 5:1

Global trends in drug production:

Opiates

  • Opium poppy cultivation decreased to 189,000 hectares (ha) in 2008; decrease due to Afghanistan.
  • Total opium production in the major illicit opium poppy cultivating countries had decreased from previous year.
  • Central and northern provinces of Afghanistan have become poppy free, while cultivation in southern provinces has been concentrated.
  • 60 percent of the estimated 7,700 metric tons is believed to be converted into morphine and heroin.
  • 630 metric tons was estimated to be used for export and 40% was exported as opium

Cocaine

  • Columbia remained the world’s largest cultivator of coca bush, with 81,000 ha, followed by Peru (56,100 ha) and Bolivia (30,500 ha).
  • Global cocaine production decreased by 15% while is a result of a 28% decrease in production in Columbia

Cannabis

  • Cannabis’ outdoor production ranges from 200,000 ha to 642,000 ha
  • Cannabis herb production ranges from 13,000 metric tons to 66,100 metric tons.

ATS

  • A shift in location of production from developed to developing counties illustrates the way criminal organizations are able to make use of more vulnerable countries.

Global trends in drug consumption

  • UNODC estimates between 172 and 250 million persons used illicit drugs at least once in 2007.
  • UNODC estimates between 18 and 38 million problem drug users aged 15-64 in 2007.
  • 15 to 21 million people used opiates at least once in 2007 at the global level
  • 16 to 21 million people used cocaine at least once in 2007, while North America remains the largest market.
  • 143 to 190 million people used cannabis at least once in 2007.
  • 16 to 51 million people used amphetamines-group substances at least once in 2007; where the majority of users is estimated in using ecstasy (12 to 24 million persons)

Drug use among young people

  • Most people start to use drugs during their youth and drug prevention is best targeted amongst young people
  • Illicit drug use amongst youth indicate shifts in trends because of changes in drug availability and social perceptions
  • Starting drug use early is linked to later negative health and social outcomes

Injecting drug use

  • Estimated between 11 and 21 million people worldwide inject drugs
  • Injecting drugs is responsible for increasing portion of HIV infections in many parts of the world; 0.8 and 6.6 million injecting are infected with HIV

Drug-related crime

  • Drugs and crime are intricately linked, because persons may commit crimes while under the influence of drugs and they may also do so to fund their drug use.