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Canada Major Source of Ecstasy and Amphetamines, UN Report Says

On June 25, 2009, the Vancouver Sun ("Canada Primary Source of Ecstasy in Drug Trade") reported that this year's "United Nations report on the world drug trade reiterates what [British Columbian] police forces have been saying for a couple of years now: Canada has become a global producer of 'party' drugs, especially ecstasy. The article states that "Canada has grown to be the most important producer of MDMA for North America" and also plays a major role in supplying the drug to Japan and Australia. Additionally, the UN found that Canada's participation in the global amphetamine trade was on the rise. As the Sun states, "Export of illegal amphetamines produced in Canada, the report claims, has grown to 20 per cent of the country's output in 2007 from only five per cent in 2006."

The article claims that the report's findings are not "particularly new information to local police forces and academics." However, some "academics were skeptical of the report's pedigree, considering it to be ideologically driven by hard-line U.S. drug policy. They note that "the U.S. accounted for more than 80 per cent of the methamphetamine labs reported worldwide in 2007 -- almost 6,000 of them. Canada reported only 17." According to the report, the issue revolves less around the sheer number of Canadian drug labs than it does around those labs' sizes. The Sun quotes the reports assertion that "The number of [methamphetamine] laboratories reported by Mexico and Canada remains comparatively small, although the size of the laboratories may on average be larger." In the words of Canadian criminologist Neil Boyd, "There's a suggestion [in the report] that trafficking [in these drugs] has increased since 2003, [...] which is probably true. But if you read the whole thing, Canada is just a small part in a global market."

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