In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Medical, Politics, Social commentary on March 29, 2023 at 12:10 am

As the author of three bestselling novels about America’s “War on Drugs,” Don Winslow is appalled at the terrifying carnage it has wreaked on Mexico.                    

Winslow sees the drug problem not as one being inflicted on Americans by outsiders—such as the Mexican drug cartels—but as one that Americans are inflicting on themselves

“Look, from my slice of this world, which is the narco world, the answers aren’t in Mexico. They’re here. And until we get our act straightened out, it will have the damaging effects on Mexico.

“That’s why it just pisses me off so much when these guys go down to the border and make these pronouncements about, you know, ‘Build a wall and stop crime from coming into the United States.’ I mean shit, if I were Mexican, I’d build the wall to keep American money from buying guns and weapons and making billionaires out of psychopaths.

“The hypocrisy of this is mind-boggling. Not in the history of the world have I ever heard of a Mexican coming into America, sticking a gun in somebody’s head and making them buy a drug.”

Opens profile photo

Don Winslow

It’s definitely time to seriously reexamine America’s decades-long war on drugs.

Today, the dangers of drug-abuse are available to anyone who wants to discover them. Yet people continue to play Russian Roulette by taking “recreational” drugs that can leave them sickened or dead. 

One “recreational” drug is Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid approved by the Food and Drug Administration to relieve pain. It’s approximately 100% more potent than morphine and 50% more potent than heroin.

“One pill. One time. It can kill you,” said Brian Clark, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s San Francisco office. “Fentanyl is without a doubt the deadliest threat that we’ve ever faced in this country. 

And with a powerful animal tranquilizer—Xylazine—being mixed into it, it’s even deadlier.

Another such drug is Krokodil (pronounced “crocodile”), an injectable opioid derivative. It’s made from over-the-counter codeine medicine mixed with ethanol, gasoline, red phosphorus, iodine, hydrochloric acid and paint thinner. 

It can produce gangrenous inflammations at the injection site, which resemble the scales of a crocodile. The skin can deteriorate so severely that flesh can fall from bone, producing a “zombie-like” appearance.


Effects of Krokodil

Yet customers still line up to buy it.

In short: No amount of publicity about the dangers of illicit drug-abuse will stop those looking for a quick “high” from thumbing their nose at the law—and their own safety.

No matter how many low-level drug dealers are arrested, others quickly take their places. The profits are simply too great—especially for those who lack education or incentive to attain professional employment.

And no sooner does a cartel kingpin get imprisoned or killed than his place is taken by one or more successors.

A classic example of this: Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, better known as “El Chapo.” As the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel, he reigned as one of the most powerful criminal kingpins in Mexico. His enterprise spanned continents and triggered waves of bloodshed throughout Mexico.

Booking photo of Joaquin “El Chapo“ Guzman (front).jpg

Joaquín Archivaldo “El Chapo” Guzmán

In 2016, Mexican authorities arrested him. With a history of two escapes from Mexican prisons, Guzmán was extradited to the United States the following year.

On February 12, 2019, a jury found him guilty on 12 counts, including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to launder narcotics proceeds, international distribution of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and other drugs, and use of firearms.

He was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment plus 30 years.

As of 2023, the Sinaloa Cartel remains Mexico’s most dominant drug cartel. It’s now headed by Ismael Zambada García and Guzmán’s sons, Jesús Alfredo Guzmán and Ivan Archivaldo Guzmán Salazar.

So: What to do? 

Aim to protect drug-avoiding people from druggies.

  • Recognize that America’s drug epidemic is caused by Americans’ insatiable demand for drugs.
  • Recognize that so long as demand persists, suppliers will be eager to fill it.
  • Allow druggies to endanger themselves but not others—the way smokers are allowed to get cancer and emphysema but not give it to nonsmokers.
  • Limit the types of places where druggies are allowed to drug up—such as their own homes.
  • Druggies involved in auto accidents should be presumed guilty unless they can prove otherwise.
  • If convicted, they should face mandatory 10-year prison terms.
  • Ban open-air drug markets.
  • Don’t allow druggies who are charged with crimes like burglary or robbery to cite their addiction as a defense.
  • States should ship their druggies to Texas—the way Texas ships its illegal aliens to Blue states.

Quit trying to protect self-destructive people from themselves.

  • Stop providing Naloxone to opioid addicts.
  • Stop providing free needles to heroin users.
  • Stop providing welfare and free housing to known drug addicts.
  • Parents should tell their teenagers: “If you get arrested for drugs, don’t expect me to bail you out or pay for treatment. We can’t afford it.”
  • If their teens are arrested as druggies, parents should say: “You’re on your own.”

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