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Book part
Publication date: 11 July 2007

Oliver Villar

For Colombia, cocaine is a product that is sold for profit in the United States. Mainstream political economy, let alone the other social sciences, has little to say about…

Abstract

For Colombia, cocaine is a product that is sold for profit in the United States. Mainstream political economy, let alone the other social sciences, has little to say about the process of extraction of surplus value in the production and distribution of cocaine, in other words, how cocaine is exploited for profit. The paper argues that the conventional framework, which locates profits generated from the cocaine trade in an economic model of crime shields a much deeper reality than simply ‘money laundering’ as a ‘legal problem.’ The central argument is that the cocaine trade in general, and the cocaine economy in particular, are a vital aspect of U.S. imperialism in the Colombian economic system. The paper tackles a critical problem: the place of cocaine in the re-colonization of Colombia – defined as ‘narcocolonialism’ – and the implications of the cocaine trade generally for U.S. imperialism in this context. The paper evaluates selected literature on the Colombian cocaine trade and offers an alternative framework underpinned by a political economy analysis drawn from Marx and Lenin showing that cocaine functions as an ‘imperial commodity’ – a commodity for which there exists a lucrative market and profit-making opportunity. It is also a means of capital accumulation by what could be termed, Colombia's comprador ‘narcobourgeoisie;’ dependent on U.S. imperialism. It is hoped that by analyzing cocaine with a Marxist interpretation and political economy approach, then future developments in understanding drugs in Colombia's complex political economy may be anticipated.

Details

Transitions in Latin America and in Poland and Syria
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-469-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

W. Rees Davis, Bruce D. Johnson, Doris Randolph, Hilary James Liberty and John Eterno

Comparisons between New York Police Department (NYPD) drug‐allegation data and data from users' and sellers' self‐reports about crack, powder cocaine and heroin provided…

Abstract

Purpose

Comparisons between New York Police Department (NYPD) drug‐allegation data and data from users' and sellers' self‐reports about crack, powder cocaine and heroin provided useful insights about the allocation of police resources via drug‐allegation data.

Design/methodology/approach

Central Harlem was divided into 45 primary sampling units (PSUs) with two years of NYPD data organized in three strata, high, mid or low allegations/capita. In nine randomly selected PSUs (three/stratum), interviewers employed chain referral sampling, steered with a nomination technique.

Findings

NYPD drug‐allegation data concurred more often with self‐report data concerning crack use/sales, but underestimated use/sales of powder cocaine and heroin. Mid‐level PSUs had proportions of crack users/sellers similar to high‐level PSUs. Mid‐ and low‐level PSUs often had high proportions of powder cocaine and heroin users/sellers.

Research limitations/implications

The enumeration of crack users/sellers produced results similar to NYPD data because crack use/sales may be more easily detected and willingly reported by citizens, police informants and police officers. Powder cocaine and heroin use/sellers enumerated were less noted in the NYPD drug allegations.

Originality/value

Provides insights into a question not addressed in previous research – how much and what kinds of drug activity are indicated by NYPD drug‐allegation data.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2017

Alexandra Hall and Georgios A. Antonopoulos

This paper aims to offer detailed preliminary data and analysis that focuses specifically on the structures and financial aspects of the UK cocaine market.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to offer detailed preliminary data and analysis that focuses specifically on the structures and financial aspects of the UK cocaine market.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on in-depth interviews with – among others – four active criminal entrepreneurs involved in powder cocaine supply in the UK. Furthermore, along with a review of relevant literature and open sources, in-depth interviews were undertaken with a range of experts with knowledge of the cocaine market. These experts include law enforcement agents and independent academics/researchers who have researched the cocaine market in the UK and internationally.

Findings

The cocaine market is a fragmented business dependent on networks of individual entrepreneurs and groups. At the core of collaborations often lie family, ethnic or kinship relationships and relationships forged within legal businesses and in prison. Capital investment practices in this market are flexible, “messy” and mutating, and money comes from a range of different sources. Credit is an integral feature of the cocaine business in the UK. The financial management of the cocaine trade is a result of (and reflects) a number of factors, such as the fragmented and decentralised nature of the trade.

Originality/value

Empirical research into financial aspects of organised crime manifestations is important for the assumptions that are part of public debate to be tested. In addition, understanding the broader range of financial aspects of organised crime is an important component of the process of crimes for gain and can contribute to both better investigation and better prevention.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

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Article
Publication date: 25 November 2014

Grazia Zuffa, Patrizia Meringolo and Fausto Petrini

The prevalence of cocaine use has been increasing since the mid-1990s in many European countries, Italy included. There is a large variety of patterns of cocaine use in…

Abstract

Purpose

The prevalence of cocaine use has been increasing since the mid-1990s in many European countries, Italy included. There is a large variety of patterns of cocaine use in natural settings, but on the whole, the existence of different patterns of cocaine use remains widely unknown to drug professionals, as well as to public opinion. The purpose of this paper is to investigate patterns and trajectories of use, the meaning of use within the context of users’ life styles, the perception of controlled/uncontrolled use, personal strategies to keep drug use “under control”.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper illustrates findings from a qualitative study among 115 cocaine users. Participants were recruited using the snow ball sampling (a minimum lifetime experience of 20 instances of cocaine use was required).

Findings

The findings confirm the variability of cocaine use trajectories and the prevalent tendency towards more moderate patterns of use. Such variability is in patent contrast to the disease model of addiction and its assumed predetermined linear trajectories. Set, and particularly setting and all the environmental factors, such as life events, appear to be the variables that can better explain the dynamic course of patterns of use.

Research limitations/implications

The main limit concerns the non-randomisation in the selection of the nominees. Participants were recruited in the night entertainment scene of the main Tuscan cities through personal contacts of staff from risk reduction facilities: in spite of the personal and confidential approach, the number of “non institutionalized” users willing to collaborate was too low, therefore the authors decided to omit the randomisation.

Social implications

The findings bear social implications as they can contribute to a change in the social representation of users so as to reduce the stigma. They can also prompt innovation in the operational models of drug services.

Originality/value

It is the first qualitative research from the “control” perspective ever led in Italy.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Book part
Publication date: 25 May 2017

Jeanette Covington

In this chapter, I examine how racial disparities in punishment for nonviolent drug crimes align with significant differences in how the black and white drug problems are…

Abstract

Purpose

In this chapter, I examine how racial disparities in punishment for nonviolent drug crimes align with significant differences in how the black and white drug problems are constructed in media, law enforcement, and academia.

Methodology/approach

By examining differences in how the black and white drug problems have been constructed over the past 70 years for the opioids (heroin, prescription painkillers), cocaine (both powder and crack), and marijuana, I illustrate how these distinct representations of the black and white drug problems accompany more punitive policies in response to black drug epidemics even as white drug epidemics are typically met with tolerance or indifference.

Findings

Historically, powerful interest groups like media and law enforcement have benefitted from circulating myths and exaggerations about the illegal drug problem that encourage punitive drug policies. By contrast, at least some academics have benefitted from taking the opposite tack and debunking many of these myths. Unfortunately, academics have been less willing to challenge myths about the black drug problem than the white drug problem. Indeed, some academics actually reinforce many of the myths about the black drug problem promoted by media and law enforcement.

Originality/value

This chapter builds upon a substantial academic literature that challenges myths about illegal drug use by whites. However, it goes beyond this literature to consider the paucity of similar academic research exposing media and law enforcement myths about the black drug problem.

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2007

Tom Decorte

Objective. The objective of this study was to examine practices and policies in place for the provision of targeted prevention and treatment of cocaine and Amphetamine…

Abstract

Objective. The objective of this study was to examine practices and policies in place for the provision of targeted prevention and treatment of cocaine and Amphetamine Type Stimulant (ATS) users in prison in nine European countries. Methodology. Across nine European member states (Belgium, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovenia, Sweden, Malta, Ireland and Portugal), interviews were conducted with ministerial representatives and professionals (i.e. service providers and security officials) working in prisons and a total of 16 focus groups with a total of 125 prisoners. Results. The use of stimulants in prison is associated with aggression and violence, financial problems, and psychological and physical problems in prisoners (depression, anxiety and psychological craving). Both security and healthcare staff in prison often feel ill‐equipped to deal with stimulant‐related problems, leading to a lack of equivalence of care for stimulant users in prison, therefore the variety and quality of drug services outside is not reflected sufficiently inside prison. There is a need for more specific product information and harm reduction material on stimulants, for clear guidelines for the management of acute stimulant intoxication and stimulant withdrawal, for structural adjustments to improve potential diagnosis of personality and psychiatric disorders, for more non‐pharmacological treatment strategies and more opportunities for prisoners to engage in purposeful activities.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 28 October 2015

Cocaine trafficking into Europe.

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Book part
Publication date: 23 September 2005

Michael Grossman

I discuss economic approaches to the demand for harmfully addictive substances with an emphasis on the role of money prices. First, I examine trends in the real prices and…

Abstract

I discuss economic approaches to the demand for harmfully addictive substances with an emphasis on the role of money prices. First, I examine trends in the real prices and in the prevalence of the use of cigarettes, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana in the U.S.A. Then I present estimates of time-series demand functions. Next, I discuss how economists have modified their traditional model of consumer behaviour to incorporate the addictive aspects of illegal substances. I conclude with implications for tax policy and for the lively and contentious debate concerning the legalization of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.

Details

Substance Use: Individual Behaviour, Social Interactions, Markets and Politics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-361-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2005

Michelle Duffin and Katy Owen

This article reports findings from qualitative research conducted in a rural county. Crack cocaine is often used in combination with heroin with the latter drug acting as…

Abstract

This article reports findings from qualitative research conducted in a rural county. Crack cocaine is often used in combination with heroin with the latter drug acting as a ‘downer’ after the intense experience of crack. Users see their heroin use as a problem but not their crack use. Services are geared to opiate misuse and there is a need to consider provision for crack misuse.

Details

Safer Communities, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-8043

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2012

Steve Moffatt, Wai‐Yin Wan and Don Weatherburn

The purpose of this paper is to determine whether trends in arrests for heroin, amphetamine‐type substances (ATS) and cocaine can be used as indicators of trends in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine whether trends in arrests for heroin, amphetamine‐type substances (ATS) and cocaine can be used as indicators of trends in the use of these drugs.

Design/methodology/approach

The question was addressed using ARIMA models to analyse the relationship between arrests and emergency department (ED) admissions for narcotics, amphetamine type substances (ATS) and cocaine.

Findings

Strong positive correlations were found for the narcotics and cocaine series between arrests and EDs in the same month (contemporaneous correlation) and between arrests in the current month and overdoses in earlier months (lagged correlation). The contemporaneous correlation between ATS arrests and EDs was slightly less strong than the lagged correlations at two and four months. A jump in ATS EDs, was followed by a jump in arrests in the same month and then two and four months later.

Practical implications

Arrests for narcotics use/possession, ATS use/possession and cocaine use/possession may in some circumstances provide useful intelligence about drug trends and/or a basis for evaluating the impact of police drug law enforcement activity on the use of narcotics, ATS and cocaine when other stronger measures of drug use are not available.

Originality/value

Efforts to evaluate local drug law enforcement activity on illicit drug use have been hampered by poor measures of trends in illicit drug use at small area levels. This is the only study the authors are aware of that has examined the long‐term relationship between illicit drug arrests and emergency department admissions for illicit drug use.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

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