Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico (Cinco Puntos Checkpoint Series)

Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico (Cinco Puntos Checkpoint Series)

Beto O'Rourke

Language: English

Pages: 144

ISBN: 1933693940

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The War on Drugs doesn’t work. This became obvious to El Paso City Representatives Susie Byrd and Beto O’Rourke when they started to ask questions about why El Paso’s sister city Ciudad Juárez has become the deadliest city in the world—8,000-plus deaths since January 1, 2008. Byrd and O’Rourke soon realized American drug use and United States' failed War on Drugs are at the core of problem. In Dealing Death and Drugs — a book written for the general reader — they explore the costs and consequences of marijuana prohibition. They argue that marijuana prohibition has created a black market so profitable that drug kingpins are billionaires and drug control doesn’t stand a chance. Using Juárez as their focus, they describe the business model of drug trafficking and explain why this illicit system has led to the never-ending slaughter of human beings. Their position: the only rational alternative to the War on Drugs is to end to the current prohibition on marijuana.

"If Washington won’t do anything different, if Mexico City won’t do anything different, then it is up to us — the citizens of the border who understand the futility and tragedy of this current policy first hand — to lead the way." — from the Afterword

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Dealing Death and Drugs will be donated to Centro Santa Catalina, a faith-based community in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, founded in 1996 by Dominican Sisters for the spiritual, educational and economic empowerment of economically poor women and for the welfare of their families.

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investment. They could buy a pound of cocaine for $4,000 from the Colombians and sell it for $32,000 a pound in Chicago, only eight times the initial investment. The Mexican cartels own the value of marijuana from farm to market. The cocaine market is not vertically integrated. The Mexican cartels buy cocaine from producers in the Andes region, decreasing their share of the markup in comparison to marijuana. Estimating the size and value of the illegal drug market is a black art muddied with

of these arrests. The cost of prosecuting this offense in New York City alone is estimated to range from $53 million to $88 million annually. This disparity in arrests, and convictions, is borne out nationally. In Chicago, nearly nine of every ten people who end up guilty of possessing marijuana are Black men. Regulating and controlling the production and sale of marijuana will not only decrease costly arrests and imprisonment, but it will have the further benefit of reducing the disparity in

Washington won’t do anything different, if Mexico City won’t do anything different, then it is up to us—the citizens of the border who understand the futility and tragedy of this current policy first hand—to lead the way. Susie Byrd ENDNOTES INTRODUCTION 1 Molloy, Molly. “Juárez Murders: Impunity Regardless of Gender,” Grassroots Press, May 12, 2010. grass-roots-press.com/2010/05/12/3615/. 2 Crowder, David. “Warnings Work, Votes Change, Veto Override Fails.” NewspaperTree: El

CHAPTER 2 PROFIT In July 2010, the Chicago police, acting on a tip, staked out Francisco Gonzalez-Nieto. After observing Francisco in the middle of a drug deal, the police followed him home and found $70,000 in cash, 4,000 grams of cocaine and 1,900 pounds of marijuana, enough for 4,000 hits and almost 2 million joints. The police told the media that Francisco Gonzalez-Nieto was likely tied to drug-trafficking organizations in Mexico. Chicago is one of the largest drug markets in the United

single greatest drug trafficking threat in the region.10 “Much like any legitimate corporation, the drug organizations utilize Chicago as both a distribution and trans-shipment point for their product. The extensive accessibility to various modes of transportation, as well as the large and diverse population with an established customer base, makes Chicago an ideal location as a hub,” Stephen A. Luzinski, acting special agent-in-charge of the Drug Enforcement Agency in Chicago, told the

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