UN Report Shows Canada as Major Hub for Ecstasy and Meth
According to a new United Nations report, Canada has become a leading producer and shipper of crystal meth (methamphetamines) and ecstasy.
Most of the numbers come from other countries where the drugs were seized. Australia reported that 83 per cent of its seized imports came from Canada, in Japan the number was 62 per cent. The UN believes the west coast is being used as an international trade hub to transport the drugs.
The report also said that since 2003-04, Canada has become the primary source of ecstasy for North America, and other regions as well.
According to the 314-page report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Canada-based organized crime groups involved in the methamphetamine trade “has grown significantly.” As well, these groups have increased the amount of methamphetamines they have manufactured and exported.
The research also indicates that while the production and demand for of most illegal drugs has declined around the world, amphtamines and ecstacy use is on the rise, particularly in industrialized and newly industrialized nations.
Overall, the report said that global demand for cocaine, opiates and cannabis was declining - but production and use of synthetic drugs is up.
Production of heroin and cocaine has dropped significantly, with poppy cultivation in Afghanistan falling 19 per cent, and coca leaf growth in Colombia falling 28 per cent since 2007.
The report also found that he UK leads the world in cocaine consumption, with an estimated 860,000 cocaine users in England and Wales and another 140,000 in Northern Ireland and Scotland combined.
Antonio Costa, the executive director of UN Office on Drugs and Crime warned against legalisation, saying proponants "can't have it both ways."
[q url=""A free market for drugs would unleash a drug epidemic, while a regulated one would create a parallel criminal market. Legalisation is not a magic wand that would suppress both mafias and drug abuse," he added.[/q]
However, he said that drug addicts should not be treated as criminals. The report recommended that drug abuse be treated instead as an illness and that universal treatment should be made available.