Coke Is It in Europe

European leaders need to get serious about Europe’s cocaine problem. The “white lady” is seducing a steadily growing number of Europeans, and remaining in a state of denial will only worsen the consequences.

Cocaine used to be America’s problem, to the point that the United States started a major campaign against sellers and consumers of crack cocaine in the inner cities, drug traffickers, and suppliers in the Andes. But now demand for cocaine in most of the world is stable or dropping. Coca cultivation has been slashed by a quarter in the past five years, and seizures of cocaine have almost doubled. An impressive 42% of all of the world’s cocaine was seized in 2005.

Only Europe is bucking the trend. Cocaine use is on the rise, especially in Spain, Great Britain, and Italy. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence indicating traces of cocaine found on bank notes and in water supplies.

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