International Journal of Drug Policy - 2014

Volume 25 Issue 3 May 2014

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554 D. Rosenblum et al. / International Journal of Drug Policy 25 (2014) 543–555 the inner workings of illicit markets that would otherwise be too difficult for economists to observe on their own. Collaborations that combine ethnography with statistical analysis and economic mod- eling can produce a more comprehensive understanding of such markets (Levitt & Venkatesh, 2000). Segregation is the product of the contemporary and historical political economy of US phenotypically racialized ethnic relations. Our ethnographic findings on the political economy of deindustrial- ization, Puerto Rican migration and police enforcement of a de facto inner-city apartheid in Philadelphia's Puerto Rican neighborhood are consistent with Bourgois' previous work on the dramatic rise of open-air crack markets in Puerto Rican East Harlem in New York City during the mid-1980s through early 1990s (Bourgois, 1989; Bourgois, 1996). The sellers, runners, and lookouts in our sample are best conceptualized as a just-in-time expendable labor force. They take on the highest risk of arrest and violence in exchange for flexi- ble and irregular remuneration that is low relative to drug industry profit. The intertwined detrimental effects of poverty, oppression and racism extend to the whole neighborhood including those who are and are not dealing or using drugs (Singer, 1999). In quantitative analyses we found evidence that cities with highly segregated Puerto Rican communities in the northeast US are places where Colombian-sourced heroin has had a high level of market penetration. Geographic proximity to Caribbean trafficking routes also likely played a large role in the spread of Colombian-sourced heroin and can explain the dominance of Colombian-sourced heroin in cities like Miami, where Puerto Rican segregation is low, and New Orleans where the Puerto Rican pop- ulation is small. Our findings have shown that it is not simply segregation but segregated groups with particular social networks and advantageous locations for illegal markets that allowed for the entry of Colombian-sourced heroin: black and non-Puerto Rican Hispanic segregation by contrast have little statistical relationship to the heroin market. The effect of segregation on heroin price is strongly influ- enced by eastern and western US regional differences in heroin source-form (Mexican-sourced "black tar" to the west of the Mis- sissippi River and Colombian-sourced beige powder to the east). These geographic differences are consistent with anthropological observations on the interstitial location of Latinos within the phen- otypically racialized black-white divide among homeless heroin injectors and crack smokers in San Francisco (1994 through 2007) (Bourgois & Schonberg, 2007). Our study contributes to knowledge of the political economy of heroin production, distribution, use and consequences. Our prior work has documented the structural forces behind trends in US heroin price and purity (Ciccarone et al., 2009), the effect of compe- tition between heroin source-forms and prices (Rosenblum et al., 2014) and the structurally mediated public health consequences of the use of different heroin source-forms (Ciccarone, 2009). Our analysis strongly suggests that the domestic political economy of ethnic and class segregation integrated into the international polit- ical economy of heroin production and distribution shaped the heroin market structure of the northeast US, influencing heroin price and purity. This knowledge can be used by policy makers to anticipate the locations of populations vulnerable to exploitation by illicit drug markets and the associated complications of crime, violence, and adverse health consequences. Role of funding source Funding for this study was provided by NIH-NIDA Grants R01DA027599 (PI: Ciccarone) and DA010164 (PI: Bourgois). Background comparative data was contributed by DA027689, AA020331, and DA027204. Conflict of interest statement None declared. References Adams, C. (1991). Philadelphia: Neighborhoods, division, and conflict in a postindustrial city. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Agar, M. (2002). How the drug field turned my beard grey. International Journal of Drug Policy, 13(4), 249–258. Agar, M., & Reisinger, H. S. (2001). Using trend theory to explain heroin use trends. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 33(3), 203–211. Arkes, J., Pacula, R. L., Paddock, S., Caulkins, J. P., & Reuter, P. (2004). Technical report for the price and purity of illicit drugs through 2003. Washington, DC: Office of National Drug Control Policy, Publication Number NCJ 207769. Arkes, J., Pacula, R. L., Paddock, S. M., Caulkins, J. P., & Reuter, P. (2008). Why the DEASTRIDE data are still useful for understanding drug markets. In NBER working paper no. 14224. Booth, R. E., Koester, S. K., Reichardt, C. 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