You may have read our views on this subject before: Supply-side anti-drug policies, based on interdiction at the border, can only work by raising the price of the illicit drugs in question. And since the demand for drugs is inelastic, this approach virtually guarantees that the drug trade will be fantastically profitable for those who manage to control export markets. As a result, country after country – we’re talking Afghanistan, Burma, Bolivia, and (maybe soon) Mexico – have become narco-states in which drug traffickers displace civil government.
So why are we ranting about this fatally flawed policy again? Because it’s time to add to the list of victim-nations. In just the last few weeks, two more have succumbed to drug-driven violence and corruption. The New York Times reported that Guinea-Bissau, a tiny country in West Africa with a per capita income of $600(!!!), has been taken over by a trafficker named Rear Adm. José Américo Bubo Na Tchuto. Alas, Guinea-Bissau’s convenient location and worthless government make it an ideal entrepôt for the drug market.
Then there’s Jamaica, a country with a long history on the wrong end of America’s big-stick drug policy. Seems the Jamaican government’s fragile peace with one of its premier drug lords, Christopher “Dudus” Coke, has been shattered after Washington demanded that he be extradited. And guess what: Washington isn’t planning to put it back together.