Determinants of the retail price of illegal drugs in New Zealand.

Int J Drug Policy. 2020 Apr 10;79:102728

Authors: Wilkins C, Romeo JS, Rychert M, Prasad J, Graydon-Guy T

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: New Zealand has a number of unusual geographical features that may influence the price of illegal drugs including international isolation, numerous rural communities, and two separate islands (North and South Islands).
AIMS: (1) Collect data on the prices of different drug types from all regions of New Zealand; (2) Identify independent predictors of the reported prices.
METHOD: An online drug survey was promoted via a targeted Facebook™ campaign. A total of 6331 respondents completed the survey. Normal regression models were constructed to identify predictors of the reported price of an ounce of cannabis, gram of methamphetamine, pill of ecstasy and tab of LSD using demographics, drug use frequency, drug market indicators, region, community size, type of seller, and location of purchase as predictor variables.
RESULTS: Higher availability was a predicator of lower prices for cannabis (-3% per higher availability category), methamphetamine (-4%) and ecstasy (-5%). Those living in the North Island (-26%) and buying from gangs (-5%) paid lower prices for methamphetamine. Those living in rural communities reported higher prices for methamphetamine (+5%) but lower prices for cannabis (-3%). Daily cannabis users (+4%) and those on social welfare (+2%) paid higher prices for cannabis.
CONCLUSION: Lower prices for methamphetamine in the North Island may reflect the concentration of methamphetamine manufacture there. The fact that gangs offer lower prices for methamphetamine suggests they do not have monopoly control of this market. Gangs may be able to offer lower prices for methamphetamine due to scale of production/trafficking and lower risk of victimisation. Higher prices for methamphetamine in rural areas may reflect less competitive markets. Lower prices for cannabis in rural communities may be due to proximity to growing locations. Daily cannabis users and those on social welfare may be less able to delay their cannabis purchases to low price harvest months.

PMID: 32283351 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]


Source: ncbi 2

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