Press down, pop up
Cracking down on illicit drugs means they surface in another form
BEFORE “Breaking Bad”, there was “Miami Vice”. The 1980s television show pitted detectives in white linen suits against drugs traffickers who used the Caribbean as their point of entry into Florida. The route, at least, is back in fashion. The proportion of cocaine imports entering the United States via the islands is rising (see article), as clampdowns in Central America and Mexico push drugs gangs back to their old haunts.
“迈阿密风云”先于《绝命毒师》。这部80年代的电视剧讲述了白衣警探对抗毒贩的故事。剧中的毒贩以加勒比海为入口进入佛罗里达，至少这条路线现在又流行起来了。通过群岛， 可卡因在美国的进口比例上升(见文章). 由于中美洲和墨西哥对贩卖毒品团伙严打，这些团伙又回到其回到其老巢。
The revival in Caribbean drugs traffic is just the latest example of the “balloon effect”, in which squashing down on illicit activity in one place causes it to pop up somewhere else. Colombia's war on drugs in the 1990s and 2000s is another: coca crops moved back to Bolivia and Peru, now the world's biggest grower; cocaine-processing shifted next door, to Ecuador and Venezuela; Mexico's drugs gangs grabbed market share. A subsequent bloody clampdown on Mexican gangs diverted traffickers to Central America: Honduras became the region's largest entry point for airborne smugglers. With the shift back to the Caribbean, the trade has come full circle.
加勒比海走私路线的复兴是“气球效应”的最新例证。在一个地方打击非法活动，会迫使其转移到别的地方。1990年和2000年的哥伦比亚的毒品战争就是证明: 古柯种植回到玻利维亚和秘鲁- 现在世界上最大的古柯种植地, 可卡因加工转移临近地区- 厄瓜多尔和委内瑞拉,墨西哥的毒品团伙抓住了此市场份额。随后墨西哥帮派的血腥打击，迫使这些团伙转移到中美洲: 洪都拉斯成为该地区最大的机载走私的入口。这些团伙重新回到加勒比海, 贸易也兜回来了。
The balloon effect also operates among consumers. Cocaine and heroin usage is dropping in places like the United States and Britain, partly because of educational campaigns, partly because of falling levels of purity. But consumption of synthetic drugs like methamphetamine, ketamine and mephedrone is rising to compensate, in both developing and developed countries. Seizures of methamphetamines have tripled in Asia in the past five years. New ways of getting high proliferate faster than the authorities can keep tabs on. A report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime says that 348 new psychoactive substances have been reported to the agency, most of them since 2008.
消费者也受到了气球效应的影响。在美国和英国等地，可卡因和海洛因的使用减少, 一部分是因为教育起了作用, 还有部分原因是纯度水平的下降 (例如, 在欧洲， 可卡因通常用牛用抗寄生虫药物掺假)。在发展中国家和发达国家，合成毒品冰毒、氯胺酮和4-甲基甲卡西酮的使用却上升了。在过去五年里，在亚洲缴获的冰毒量翻了三倍。当局的密切关注赶不上制造毒品新方法的高增殖速度。联合国毒品和犯罪室的一份报告说, 该机构已报告的348种新刺激神经类物质, 其中大部分2008年以后才出现的。
Prohibitionist drugs policies do have an effect. Traffickers are being inconvenienced; prices are raised. But the war on drugs surely aimed higher than merely altering the stuff people that take and how they get hold of it. It cannot count as a success if global consumption of illicit substances is going up, not down.
禁止毒品政策确实奏效了。贩子们越来越难, 毒品价格也因此提高了。但是对毒品的战争不应只是改变人们吸食的物质，改变他们获得毒品的途径，而必然有更高的目标。如果非法物质在全球的消费上升了, 而不是下降，它也不算成功。
Worse, the spillovers can be grave. Attacking gangs in one country does not just increase bloodshed there, it also exports violence abroad. Seizures of drugs create scarcity further down the supply chain, giving traffickers a greater incentive to use force. Researchers have estimated that Colombian interdiction policies may explain as much as half of the increase in drug-related homicides in Mexico between 2006 and 2010. The extraordinary homicide rates in Central America—Honduras is the world's most murder-prone country—partly reflect the influx of narco-traffickers after Mexico's own crackdown. Once the gangs arrive, they are hard to dislodge entirely; the side effects, like corruption and extra weapons, outlast them.
更糟糕的是,会产生严重的溢出效应。在一个国家，打击这些团伙，不仅增加该国的流血事件, 也会引发国外的暴力。癫痫药物的稀缺供不应求, 会给贩子更大的动力来使用武力。研究人员猜测，哥伦比亚封锁政策，正是为何在2006年和2010年之间墨西毒品相关的杀人事件增长了一半。中美-洪都拉斯的谋杀率为世界最高。这也反映出了墨西哥对毒贩镇压后，他们涌入洪都拉斯。一旦贩毒团伙来了, 他们是很难完全驱逐; 腐败和私藏的武器会让他们逃生。
Consumer countries suffer, too.No one yet understands the long-term health effects of the new psychoactive substances that people hoover up, but some synthetic cannabinoids are clearly more dangerous than farmed marijuana. And production is more mobile, which means that the violence associated with supplying drugs is creeping closer to sources of demand. Meth labs are being discovered in the United States and Europe on a daily basis.
消费国也不好过。目前我们还不知道人们吸食的新型精神药物对健康有什么长期的危害, 但一些合成大麻类显然比种植的大麻更加危险。因为其生产更具移动性, 这意味着暴力与毒品供应正悄悄接近需求来源。在美国和欧洲每天都能发现冰毒实验室.
This newspaper's views on drugs are well known. Legalisation is the best way to prevent harm to users, and to shove the gangs aside.To work, prohibition requires an almost impossible sustained level of international co-operation and resourcing.The drugs war needs a rethink, not endless repeats.
本报对毒品的看法是众所周知的。防止伤害用户, 并打击犯罪团伙最好的方法是合法化。禁毒工作, 需要一个持续水平的国际合作和资源分配。毒品战争更需要反思, 而不是无休止的重复。