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High Flying Loonie Drives Up Cocaine Sales

By Bob Ewing     Nov 19, 2007 in Lifestyle
The loonie is flying high and the illegal drug trade, at least the cocaine trade, is booming. The supply is short and the price high in the US but in Canada, the illegal business is doing well -- the supply is plentiful and the price is affordable.
In Canada, at least one industry is doing well, possibly even booming, thanks to the high Canadian dollar. Unfortunately it is the illegal cocaine trade and in particular, crack cocaine, that is thriving.
According to a recent CBC report the streets of cities such as Vancouver and Ottawa are seeing an increased flow of the illegal substance while at the same time some American cities are seeing supplies dwindle.
"The price has gone up, purity has gone down. That tells us they have less of their poison to peddle on our streets," U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Steve Robertson told CBC News on Friday.
In emergency rooms across the United States, fewer patients are reporting cocaine use and there is also less cocaine in Americans' urine, said Dr. Barry Sample of Quest Diagnostics, America's biggest drug testing company.
"We've noticed an unprecedented decline in the positivity rates for cocaine tests, and it's at the lowest level since we started reporting in 1997," he said.
The street prices of cocaine has risen considerable in the United States with a 44 per cent increase in the street price across the United States, where a pure gram now averages about $137 US, said American drug enforcement officials.
In Vancouver, for example, the price is lower that in the States, Vancouver police Sgt. Steve McKenna said, A street-level gram right now is about 80 bucks”
The story is much the same in Ottawa.
"There's clearly a lot of crack cocaine available on the streets. Less obviously, there's crack cocaine available in many schools," criminology professor Irvin Waller, director of the Institute for the Prevention of Crime at the University of Ottawa. said.
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