New Yorkers dreaming of a certain kind of white Christmas won’t find any holiday-season discounts this year. The average price of a gram of pure cocaine in the United States rose 44 percent between January and September, reaching nearly $140 per gram, according to Drug Enforcement Administration stats. Purity of street product, meantime, decreased by 15 percent, the agency says. “Unprecedented pressure against narco-trafficking groups through coordinated efforts of the governments of Colombia, Mexico, and the United States” has led to the price increase, explains DEA spokesman Garrison Courtney, and purity is down because dealers cut their stash with substances like flour or baking soda to stretch limited inventory. Prices for methamphetamine have risen even more steeply, by 73 percent, with a 31 percent reduction in purity. But prices might not be quite as high in the Big Apple; those numbers are national averages. “New York is a lot easier to get to than Omaha because of all the ports and airports, so the drugs are cheaper,” Courtney says. The city’s narcotics prosecutor says the street price of a gram of cocaine runs up to $100 in the five boroughs; out in western New York, it climbs to $150.
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