UN Report: Global Cocaine Production Hits Record High

    UN Report: Global Cocaine Production Hits Record High
    Last updated Mar 16, 2023
    Image credit: dailymail


    • A United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report states that global cocaine production has reached record highs after declining during the COVID pandemic, as cocaine production increased by 35% between 2020 and 2021.[1]
    • Production of coca, cocaine’s base ingredient, is the highest since 2016 and its increased production comes as South American cartels improve the efficiency of their jungle labs, where they can extract more cocaine from the coca leaves.[2]
    • A record of nearly 2K tons of cocaine was produced in 2020 as coca bush cultivation doubled between 2013 and 2017. Cocaine demand has grown along with the production as most regions have seen a rise in users over the past decade.[3]
    • Demand waned as nightclubs and bars were closed during the pandemic and drug markets had been disrupted with diminished international travel. However, that slump did not greatly impact longer-term trends.[4]
    • The report also says that West and Central Africa have emerged as new trafficking hubs over the last two years, with traffickers using international postal services more often to get drugs to consumers.[5]
    • Meanwhile, in Europe, Albanian gangs are driving cocaine smuggling. The report states, “From the Netherlands” cocaine is distributed throughout Europe, and “Albanian-speaking groups appear to play an important role in this.”[[6]


    Pro-establishment narrative

    While cocaine may be a natural component of the coca plant, its effect on society has brought devastating consequences. While it may start as a natural component of the coca plant, cocaine gets put through a series of jungle labs that create many forms of narcotics. Cocaine, whether smoked, snorted, or inhaled, leads to terrible outcomes for its users and society at large.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The demonization of the coca plant by directly linking it to cocaine is an attack on indigenous communities that have used coca leaves for centuries. The coca plant has provided natural remedies to various ailments, and cocaine itself was used in medicines as well as Coca-Cola until the 1920s when the drug was used recreationally. We must not deny the important ancestral properties when discussing the coca plant.

    Establishment split



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