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NCJ Number: 221322 Find in a Library
Title: Does Price Really Matter?: The Relationship Between Heroin Price and Purity in Australia and the Ramifications for International Drug Enforcement
Journal: Global Crime  Volume:8  Issue:4  Dated:November 2007  Pages:367-380
Author(s): Hank Prunckun
Date Published: November 2007
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The study examined the relationship between the black market price for heroin and its corresponding purity in Australia for the period from July 1996 to June 2003.
Abstract: Results indicated that Australian law enforcement operations targeting commercial quantities were neither effective nor ineffective; but operations targeting street-level users were noticeably ineffective. Concerning commercial quantities of heroin, supply-side drug policy experienced a situation that resulted in neither an oversupply nor an undersupply; the price paid by dealers for an ounce of heroin had no bearings on the purity of the drug or vice versa. Interpretations of the data suggest that because of the enormous risks involved in illegally importing heroin (convictions in some Southeast Asian countries result in the death penalty; convictions in Australia result in life imprisonment) buyers are willing to pay the dealers’ asking price regardless of its purity. Suggestions for deterrence include directing aggressive laws enforcement operations specifically at disrupting importation. The study used regression and correlation analyses to test the relationship between the two variables of price and purity. Data relating to heroin prices and purity in each State and territory were collected through the Australian Crime Commission. Policy options were discussed in terms of both law enforcement strategies and enhanced legislation. Limitations of the study are detailed. Figures
Main Term(s): Australia; Black market; Drug prices; Heroin
Index Term(s): Correlation analysis; Deterrence effectiveness; Drug purity; Drug smuggling; Foreign drug law enforcement; International organizations; Police policy development; Regression analysis
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