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drugs

Are We Losing the War on Drugs?

Thousands of deaths in Mexico are chiefly the result of traffic in high-potency pot smuggled across the border with ruthless resolve. But when marijuana legalization came up as one of the most requested questions during a presidential town hall meeting early in Obama’s presidency, he laughed it off.

Every five days the staff of a makeshift asylum at the edge of Juárez wash the inmates’ bedding and spread it to dry on bushes. Many of the residents of “the crazy place” have been driven mad by drug use and the anguish of loved ones lost to the drug war (Julián Cardona).

The Crazy Place

In Juárez, people vanish. They leave a bar with the authorities and are never seen again. They leave their homes on an errand and never return. They go to a meeting and never come back. They are waiting at a bus stop and never arrive at their assumed destination. No one really knows how many people vanish. It is not safe to ask, and it is not wise to place a call to the authorities.

The Mule

The first run, from Tampa to McAllen to Greensboro, was a bit of a lark. Maria was living in Tampa, and she was bored. So when a friend, someone she knew to be a Mexican drug cartel–affiliated smuggler, appeared at her door with a business proposition, she leapt at the opportunity. He said to her and her friend, “You girls want to make about $5,000 for driving for us for a few hours?”

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