Understanding the balloon effect

Balloons can take on a few roles: a nice gesture representing a cause for celebration, little animals or creators of uncomfortably loud noises.

Little children and adults know these things.  And one thing some do when playing with balloons is squeezing one part of it to only see the air move to another part of the sphere.

That’s what’s been happening throughout the drug supplying countries all over the world: try to move the air out of one part of the balloon and it just goes to another. There seems like there’s a change, but overall the same amount of air is in the balloon, hence the name: the balloon effect.

Many of the supply oriented policies I mentioned last week have this unintended cause: while supply in one area is eradicated, the profitability of the drug trade only has suppliers looking for different locations.

This short video below explains what that looks like:

So what does that mean for the policies in place meant to eradicate drugs?

‘“As a Latin American commission led by three former presidents (of Colombia, Mexico, and Brazil) put it recently: “Prohibitionist policies based on the eradication of production and on the disruption of drug flows as well as on the criminalization of consumption have not yielded the expected results. We are farther away than ever from the announced goal of eradicating drugs.”’

Well, from this Reuters blog, the future isn’t bright. I’m interested in learning more about how policies will play out in the future.

 

 

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