- 03 Dec 08
Why the recent record drugs haul off the Irish coast will do little to stem to cocaine tide- and my pose a very real public health risk as dealers move to fill the gap in the market.
The war on (some) drugs will not be won in our lifetime, but as long as the authorities pull off the occasional, spectacular seizure, there will always be those who believe – as the UN did 10 years ago – that ‘a drug-free world is possible’.
While European and Irish anti-narcotics agents congratulate each other on another record cocaine seizure off the south-west coast of Ireland, the crime syndicates who lost the 1.7 tonnes are scouting the world for the cheapest coke they can find in order to recoup their losses.
With a strike rate of barely 10%, there’s no danger that international law enforcement authorities will ever win the war on (some) drugs; the only effect of massive seizures like that of November 5 will be to guarantee that street drugs get dirtier. This is what happened after last year’s fluke 1.5 tonne seizure, when large numbers of young people were poisoned by toxic cocaine.
For the foreseeable future, the cocaine market will be unpredictable and even more dangerous than usual. The possibility of lethal batches fetching up in Ireland is very real. For once, the advice of the prohibitionists should be applied: when it comes to coke, it’s best to ‘just say no’.