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This is What Happens When the Founders’ Philosophy of Government Is Ignored

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Posted on June 24 2010 12:30 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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I have one final factoid to add as we wrap up the NRB Drug Legalization Debate.

From Bruce Porter’s Blow: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All:

Adding up the cost of the coca leaves, the chemicals and the cheap labor involved, it cost the processors less than a thousand dollars to produce a kilo of 100 percent pure cocaine, which they were selling then for six thousand dollars in Colombia. If they transported it to Miami, it would go wholesale for between fifty and sixty thousand dollars a kilo. In 1974 tenured college professors earned twenty thousand dollars a year and houses in the Hamptons went for a hundred grand. With a few trips to Florida, one could become a rich man.

Moving from wholesaling to retailing, the numbers climbed higher still as the quality of the product got worse. Cut a number of times by interim dealers, who would add inert substances to boost the weight and maintain their profit margin, the common street product in some cases would contain no more than 15 or 20 percent cocaine. Dealers found they often had to add Methedrine to give the mix a decent amount of drive. But for argument’s sake, say it was cut only once or twice, keeping the product fairly high grade. Selling for one hundred dollars a gram, a thousand grams to the kilo, with all in the deal running smoothly, no glitches along the way, this meant the kilo purchased for six thousand in Colombia would generate street sales in America of between two and three hundred thousand dollars, and even more if you dealt in shoddier merchandise.

Update for clarity: These numbers are from when the cocaine explosion began in the early ’70s. (Hence the reference to 1974.) The point remains the same, though.

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