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New Report Refutes Cocaine Success Claims

— A report released recently by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy shows that US cocaine prices hit a 26 year low in 2007. This undermines repeated claims by the Bush administration that there were unprecedented cocaine shortages at the time. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

In the fall of 2007, President George Bush's drug czar, John Walters, was in San Diego to announce what he called the best results in the drug war in 20 years.

He said it was the first time in two decades there'd been such a cocaine shortage. And he said prices had shot up 24-percent from March through June.

At the time, critics warned such price spikes are typical and temporary.

The report the Office of Drug Control Policy just released confirms that. It shows the price of cocaine actually plummeted to a 26 year low by the end of 2007.

John Walsh is with the Washington Office on Latin America. He says it is critical the new administration handle data with much more care, "So that policy makers and the public understand what they're getting and it is not smoke and mirrors."

The Bush Administration spent more than six-billion dollars trying to slash cocaine supply and thereby drive up prices.

Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

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