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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.

This report is part of the RAND monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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