BUSINESS

Crack Prices Around The World Vary Enormously

11/12/2013 02:28 EST
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TORONTO, ON - JUNE 21: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford held a press conference at City Hall Friday afternoon in response to possible provincial funding cuts to the city. (Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s admission last week that he has smoked crack has renewed media interest in the highly potent, highly addictive cocaine derivative.

There have been explainers about what it is (cocaine powder processed with water and baking soda to make solid “rocks”) and speculation on how linking Toronto to the illegal drug has hurt the city’s reputation.

But what about the crack business itself? Getting a clear measure of the state of an underground, illegal business is difficult to say the least, but the UN's World Drug Report offers some insight into this nasty business, including — as Canada.com noted earlier — prices around the world.

Turns out Canada is roughly in the middle of the pack when it comes to crack prices, with a gram costing around $80, and the “high end” of the price range around $130 per gram, according to UN data.

Compare that to the U.S., where drug enforcement is harsher and the “high end” of crack prices is a whopping $600 per gram. (The UN report doesn’t offer a “typical” price for a gram of crack, but you can be sure it’s a lot less than $600.)

The report notes that prices tend to be higher where enforcement is stricter, but geography matters too. The lowest prices for crack are found in the Caribbean and Central America, which makes sense, as these places are among the most common transit routes for drugs derived from the coca leaf grown in South America.

But just look at how low those prices are: A gram of crack costs a mere one dollar, typically, in Panama, and only slightly more in places like the Dominican Republic.

At the other end of the scale are countries known for their harsh drug laws, like Bahrain ($266 per gram) and Ukraine ($250).

Check out this list of crack cocaine prices around the world:

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Crack Prices Around The World