Location Technique: How Do Drug Markets Choose Where to Sell?
(George Rengert etal., Researchers at Temple University)
The Younger Crowd
Many drug addicts tend to be young and have little education, which attracts drug dealers. George Rengert explains due to the unemployment of these younger individuals, many illicit drug market professionals will choose to base their
business in "postindustrial" cities, where those young individuals drop like flies in the labor industries due to those
industries constantly relocating (225).
Center of Demand
Rengert also explains that four types of drug markets exist: neighborhood, open regional, semi-open regional, and closed regional markets (220). He and his research colleagues choose these based on the users being local or regional and the symbiotic relationship shared between the dealers and prospective users, or who attracts who (220). If the users are mainly outside the local proximity, then the market is open and located on roads that filer the users into the region. If the vast majority of users are local, then the market is closed off to outsiders.
Rengert and his researchers noted, "Cities based on public transportation, such as New York City, and cities in developing countries may have drug sales concentrated about public transportation rather than highway interchanges" (231). To put this in perspective, selling drugs near an interstate highway without the authorities finding out would prove unsuccessful, simply because of how busy highways near big cities are.
Geography: Where Do Drug Markets Exist?
Places anyone wouldn't expect to find thriving drug markets, such as Alaska, contain some of the biggest markets. The Alaskan Heroin Rush is one of the biggest landmarks in illicit drug market history. Even just watching a few minutes of Drug, Inc.'s documentary on the Alaskan Heroine Rush would suprise anyone.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) identifies roughly 136 countries worlwide that partake in the cultivation, consuming, or selling of illegal drugs. For example, the United States is the "world's largest consumer of cocaine, Colombian heroine, and Mexican heroine and marijuana; major consumer of ecstasy and Mexican methamphetamine...illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; money-laundering center" (Field Listing: Illicit Drugs).
Drugs, Inc.: Alaskan Heroin Rush. Dir. National Geographic. 2012. Television. YouTube. National Geographic, 4 Nov. 2012. Web. 2 Dec. 2012.
"Field Listing: Illicit Drugs." Central Intelligence Agency. Central Intelligence Agency, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2012.
Rengert, George, Sanjoy Chakravorty, Tom Bole, and Kristin Henderson. "A Geographic Analysis of Illegal Drug Markets." Crime Prevention Studies 11 (n.d.): 219-39. Web. 2 Nov. 2012.