Estimating the Flow of Methamphetamine and Other Synthetic Drugs from Quebec, Canada, 1999-2009 (ICPSR 35295)

Principal Investigator(s): Farabee, David, University of California at Los Angeles; Morselli, Carlo, University of Montreal; Zhang, Sheldon, San Diego State University

Summary:

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

In this study, researchers used capture-recapture sampling and multiple data sources to gauge the impact of drug trafficking in Quebec, Canada on the United States drug market. The main analyses were based on arrest data that were obtained for Quebec. In addition, analysis of the chemical composition and price assessments of the Quebec synthetic drugs was done.

The study includes one SPSS data file (Quebec Arrest Data (Synthetic Drugs Cases, September 2014; n=20261)-ICPSR.sav ; n=20,261 ; 13 variables) and one Excel data file (Chemical composition of seized synthetic drugs.xls ; n=365 ; 14 variables).

Spatial analyses of border seizure data was performed by the researchers, but these data are not available at this time. The data used for these analyses concerned synthetic drug seizures at Canadian borders from 2007 to 2012. The dataset was provided by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). For each seizure, the specific border crossing where the seizure was made was provided, as well as the value of the seizure (except for precursors), the country of origin and the type of drug seized. The types of drugs were classified into five types: (1) Precursors, (2) MDMA, (3) Amphetamine, (4) Methamphetamine and (5) Others. Most of the seizures (86.6 percent) were classified in this last category. The country of origin of the seizure was also provided.

Access Notes

  • These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reason for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

Dataset(s)

Dataset
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Study Description

Citation

Farabee, David, Carlo Morselli, and Sheldon Zhang. Estimating the Flow of Methamphetamine and Other Synthetic Drugs from Quebec, Canada, 1999-2009. ICPSR35295-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2017-06-16. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35295.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR35295.v1

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Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (2010-IJ-CX-0020)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    amphetamines, drug law offenses, drug offenders, drug traffic, drugs, methamphetamine, stimulants

Smallest Geographic Unit:    Quebec Arrest Data (Synthetic Drugs Cases, September 2014; n=20261).sav: None - Chemical composition of seized synthetic drugs.xls: Provincial region of Quebec, Canada

Geographic Coverage:    Canada, Quebec (province)

Time Period:   

  • 1999--2009 (Quebec Arrest Data (Synthetic Drugs Cases, September 2014; n=20261).sav)
  • 2007-06--2008-06 (Chemical composition of seized synthetic drugs.xls)

Date of Collection:   

  • 2010 (Quebec Arrest Data (Synthetic Drugs Cases, September 2014; n=20261).sav)
  • 2010 (Chemical composition of seized synthetic drugs.xls)

Unit of Observation:    Quebec Arrest Data (Synthetic Drugs Cases, September 2014; n=20261).sav: Individuals, Chemical composition of seized synthetic drugs.xls: Drugs

Universe:   

Quebec Arrest Data (Synthetic Drugs Cases, September 2014; n=20261).sav: Arrests in Quebec, Canada from 1999-2009

Chemical composition of seized synthetic drugs.xls: drug seizures made by law enforcement agencies in Quebec, Canada between June 2007 and 2008

Data Type(s):    administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

These data are part of NACJD's Fast Track Release and are distributed as they were received from the data depositor. The files have been zipped by NACJD for release, but not checked or processed except for the removal of direct identifiers. Users should refer to the accompanying readme file for a brief description of the files available with this collection and consult the investigator(s) if further information is needed.

Spatial analyses of border seizure data was performed by the researchers, but these data are not available at this time. The data used for these analyses concerned synthetic drug seizures at Canadian borders from 2007 to 2012. The dataset was provided by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). For each seizure, the specific border crossing where the seizure was made was provided, as well as the value of the seizure (except for precursors), the country of origin and the type of drug seized. The types of drugs were classified into five types: (1) Precursors, (2) MDMA, (3) Amphetamine, (4) Methamphetamine and (5) Others. Most of the seizures (86.6 percent) were classified in this last category. The country of origin of the seizure was also provided.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   

The overarching goal of this study was to assess the size of Canada's drug trade and its impact on the United States drug market. The objectives in this study were framed into five questions:

  1. What is the scale of production and consumption of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) in Quebec Canada, based on capture-recapture sampling and analysis of existing official data?
  2. What is the difference between production and consumption, assuming any surplus is intended for export to other North American markets?
  3. How are these drugs manufactured in Quebec (using lab records of chemical composition assays of seized drugs to establish the origin of production)?
  4. What are the organizational characteristics of those involved in the production and distribution of methamphetamine and other synthetic drugs in Quebec?
  5. What threats do these criminal organizations pose to both the United States and Canada, and what policy implications can be drawn from impact estimates?

Study Design:   

For the arrest data (Quebec Arrest Data (Synthetic Drugs Cases, September 2014; n=20261).sav), researchers obtained access to official arrest data for all crimes committed by adults in Quebec, Canada from 1999-2009. These data were recorded by law enforcement agencies across the province and compiled by crime event in the Module d'Information Policieres (MIP). Information on all arrestees was included for each event. While their identities were concealed for confidentiality reasons, each individual that was arrested over this period was tagged with a unique identification number that allowed researchers to track his/her re-arrest in subsequent periods. With such a lengthy period of arrest records, researchers were able to draw repeated samples and arrive at more stable estimates. Whereas estimating most crimes with such data is generally a straightforward procedure, certain adjustments were necessary in the case of arrests linked with synthetic drugs markets. Before 2006, all crimes that were of interest for the present project were categorized under a generic 'Other Drugs' label. As of 2006, the possession, traffic, import/export, and production of methamphetamine and ecstasy were included as specific crimes. In order to adjust for these coding limits, researchers included all arrests for 'Other Drugs' to the ecstasy and methamphetamine related arrests. Without these additional arrests, this data set would be significantly reduced and largely irrelevant for the market estimations designed for this research.

Because the goal of the project was to estimate the size of the ecstasy and methamphetamine markets as opposed to all 'other drugs' (which include LSD, various prescription pills), the most detailed estimates were developed for the years 2008 and 2009 where drug specific data were available. Overall, the data set was initially comprised of 16,441 events in which individuals were arrested for methamphetamine, ecstasy, and 'other drugs' possession, traffic, importation/exportation, and production as a main crime. Researchers expanded beyond the main crime in any event and included three additional crimes to increase the number of arrests to 20,261 events.

For the chemical composition data (Chemical composition of seized synthetic drugs.xls), researchers studied 365 synthetic drugs that were obtained through a project commissioned by the Canadian government in response to concern over increased use of synthetic drugs. In partnership with the provincial and municipal police forces in the province Quebec, a sample of seizures made by law enforcement agencies in Quebec between June 2007 and 2008 were analyzed by Health Canada who extracted and systematically classified the synthetic drugs based on their chemical composition (active substance and cutting agents) and physical features (score, color, and logo). All the synthetic drugs in this sample were seized in nine different areas across the Quebec province.

Sample:   

For the arrest data (Quebec Arrest Data (Synthetic Drugs Cases, September 2014; n=20261).sav), researchers obtained access to official arrest data for all crimes committed by adults in Quebec, Canada from 1999-2009. These data were recorded by law enforcement agencies across the province and compiled by crime event in the Module d'Information Policieres (MIP).

For the chemical composition data (Chemical composition of seized synthetic drugs.xls), in partnership with the provincial and municipal police forces in the province Quebec a sample of seizures made by law enforcement agencies in Quebec between June 2007 and 2008 were analyzed by Health Canada who extracted and systematically classified the synthetic drugs based on their chemical composition and physical features.

Time Method:    Cross-sectional

Weight:    None

Mode of Data Collection:    record abstracts

Description of Variables:   

The 13 variables in the arrest data (Quebec Arrest Data (Synthetic Drugs Cases, September 2014; n=20261)-ICPSR.sav) include a case number, event date, year of offense, and the gender and year of birth of the suspect. There are also up to 4 crimes listed, as well as the number of charges for youths, adults, and the age of the suspect at the time of the offense.

The 14 variables in the chemical composition data (Chemical composition of seized synthetic drugs.xls ; n=365) include the region in which the seizure took place, up to 7 products, and whether or not the substance was ecstasy or speed. There are also variables indicating the price, as well as physical features such as logo, color, and score.

Response Rates:    Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:    none

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:   2017-06-16

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