The World’s Biggest Exporter of Legal Cocaine Might Surprise You
Revelations about the UK’s legal cocaine and heroin trade are juxtaposed against risks and violence associated with illegal drugs.
New data shows that the UK exports more legal cocaine and heroin than any other country in the world, The Independent reported.
In 2016, Britain sent out 57 kg of cocaine. The next largest distributor was the Netherlands, at just under 14 kg.
The UK also imported 330 kg of cocaine in the same year, which made up more than 80 percent of the global legal demand for the drug, which is used as a local anaesthetic in some operations.
As for heroin, the UK exported more than half a tonne—also more than half of the world’s legal supply of the drug. It is also used as a painkiller in the country.
According to Steve Rolles, a senior policy analyst at the think tank Transform, which supports the regulation of drugs, said that the revelation supports the position that legalisation could control risk and violence associated with the underground narcotics trade.
“We have a choice: we can leave the trade in the hands of organised criminals and unregulated dealers, or we make them available through doctors, pharmacists or licensed retailers. There’s no third option where heroin and cocaine magically disappear,” he told The Independent.
Problems with cocaine and heroin are becoming more visible in the UK. A Vice investigation revealed a 90-percent increase over the last four years among hospital patients diagnosed with mental and behavioural disorders due to cocaine use, and heroin-related overdoses doubled from 2012 to 2016.
Read the full story here: UK is the world’s biggest exporter of legal cocaine and heroin, show new figures