Foreign demand for Latin American drugs : the USA and Europe

by Peter Reuter

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Examines the evolution of U.S. drug consumption since 1980 to provide a description of drug use dynamics and estimates of total expenditures on marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. Concludes that cocaine demand is likely to decline and that supply-side shifts are more important for heroin than for other drugs. Finds the data for drug use in Western Europe to be skimpy and cautions that variations among nations is substantial; compares U.S. and European consumption patterns. Argues that, notwithstanding recent upturns in marijuana use among adolescents in the United States, export demand has probably reached its peak and will likely decline slowly in the future.

Originally published in: Latin America and the Multinational Drug Trade, Elizabeth Joyce and Carlos Malamud, eds., Institute of Latin American Studies, 1998, pp. 23-43.

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