24 March 2008

Beer Costs the Same as Cocaine in UK

In their effort to reduce binge drinking, lawmakers in the United Kingdom have just increased taxes on beer with an interesting side effect.

A line of cocaine is now as cheap as a pint of beer after the latest alcohol tax rises took effect.

An average pint in Britain has topped £3 following a 4p rise in the budget – making it the same price as a line of cocaine, according to official government figures.

In London the average price of a pint – at £4.06 – is dearer than a hit of heroin.

A line of speed or the cannabis resin for a spliff now costs the same as just two cigarettes, according to separate figures released by the Independent Drug Monitoring Unit, which provides street prices for evidence in courts.

. . .

Spokesman Harry Shapiro said: 'The tax on alcohol has been going up and up while the price of cocaine has been coming down. There comes a point when the lines cross and it may well be that point is now.. . if you're asking me if it now costs no more to have a night on cocaine as it does on alcohol, unfortunately I'd have to say yes.'

Over the past ten years, the price of cocaine has dropped from £77 a gram to £45, while heroin has fallen from £74 to £53.

...

A spokesman [for the Home Office] said: 'Reductions in the price of drugs may be associated with increased competition or reduced demand, not just increased availability.

'The relationship between drug prices and drug use is not straightforward.

Interesting that the Home Office says that the relationship between beer and binge drinking is related, but not drug use.

But here's something more interesting:

This month a UN report condemned Britain's celebrity 'endorsed' drug-related lifestyles and said cocaine use here was among the highest in Europe, along with Spain and Italy. . .

Here in the US, we eagerly snap up any news about the drug related adventures of Paris, Lindsey and Britney, including their drug induced sexcapades. Is there any reason why there are binge drinking problems? Binge drinkers are just trying to act like celebreties.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to put my soapbox away.

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posted by Jeff Holt at 07:58

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