Gaps and inconsistencies in the picture of the cocaine trade increase the difficulty of making good choices about resource allocation and drug-fighting strategies. They also make it more difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of existing policies. This report documents a computer spreadsheet-based “systems description” for the cocaine trade that is a combination of database and analytical tool. Its structure allows users to substitute their own data or assumptions about parameters while preserving consistency or “conservation of mass” throughout the system. Three systems spreadsheets mirror the general pattern of the cocaine trade: production, international transportation, and U.S. distribution. In addition, a longitudinal database provides primarily production-related data from 1984 through 1990.
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