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Rosy Drug War Announcement Precedes Bush Regime Aid Package

United States drug czar John Walters was in San Diego today to announce what he says are the best results in the war on drugs in 20 years. Walter's comments come on the eve of the Bush administration

Rosy Drug War Announcement Precedes Bush Regime Aid Package

United States drug czar John Walters was in San Diego today to announce what he says are the best results in the war on drugs in 20 years. Walter's comments come on the eve of the Bush administration seeking a massive aid package to help Mexico fight drugs. KPBS reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

Drug Czar John Walters says it's the first time in two decades that there've been such cocaine shortages.

From the end of March through June, he says the price of a gram of cocaine climbed 24 percent in cities including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

Walters : I think our challenge now is can we sustain it.

Walters says unprecedented levels of cooperation with the government of Mexico have and will continue to help.

However, critics say the price increases Walters is touting are not unusual.

John Walsh studies drug policy at the Washington Office on Latin America.

Walsh : I think it is important to have an historical perspective and to realize that even the magnitude of the increase is not atypical for the fluctuations for the past 25 years.

Walters suspects the announcement may be timed to grease the skids for the billion dollar aid package for Mexico the Bush administration wants.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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