Source of drugs key to valuation
Police do not use race or class to determine the value of drugs.
Public relations officer of the Royal Barbados Police Force, Acting Inspector Rodney Inniss, explained that the street value of drugs was “determined by where it comes from . . . , the type of drug it is and street intelligence”.
His explanation came following public outcries of disparity in the estimated street worth of drugs confiscated by police during sting operations.
In April this year, two businessmen were jointly charged for possession with intent to traffic and conspiracy to traffic 465.7 pounds of cannabis estimated at more than $1.8 million on the black market, putting the value at roughly $3 900 per pound. And in a more recent seizure, law enforcement authorities put the estimated value of 267 pounds of marijuana seized at $534 160, a value of $2 000 per pound.
However, public discussion raised questions about how the value of drugs was determined, with some suggesting that the colour and social and economic standing of the individual(s) was a determinant, while others insinuated that the calculations were reflective of the removal of the National Social Responsibility Levy (NSRL).
But Inniss maintained that the value of drugs is calculated firstly by the type of drug – for example, cocaine, crack or marijuana; as well as the country of origin. (SDB Media)
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