How Prohibition Makes Heroin More Dangerous (Reason)
Thursday February 6th, 2014
Because someone famous died in Manhattan from an apparent heroin overdose on Sunday, The New York Times has a front-page story today about "a city that is awash in cheap heroin." How cheap? The Times says a bag of heroin, which typically contains about 100 milligrams, "can sell for as little as $6 on the street." Yet it also reports that the Drug Enforcement Administration's New York office last year "seized 144 kilograms of heroin...valued at roughly $43 million." Do the math ($43 million divided by 144,000 grams), and that comes out to about $300 per gram, or $30 for a 100-milligram bag--six times the retail price mentioned higher in the same story. So how did the DEA come up with that $43 million estimate? Apparently by assuming that all of the heroin it seized would have ended up in New England, where a "$6 bag in the city could fetch as much as $30 or $40."