In an Esquire piece titled El Chapo and the Secret History of the Heroin Crisis, Don Wilson describes how the heroin epidemic in America kills hundreds of people a week, how the legalization of pot destroyed the profits of the Mexican cartels, and consequences of creating a new purer and cheaper form of heroin. Interestingly, Wilson points out in his article the possibility that all of this might not have happened if El Chapo was running the operations.
Wilson describes the economics of these trends:
“In a single year, the [Mexican drug] cartel suffered a 40 percent drop in marijuana sales, representing billions of dollars. Mexican marijuana became an almost worthless product. They’ve basically stopped growing the shit: Once-vast fields in Durango now lie fallow. More good news, right? Yeah, no. Guzmán and his boys are businessmen. They’re not going to take a forty-point hit and not do something about it. They had to make up those profits somewhere,” and so, as Winslow reports, the dealers turned to heroin production, dropping prices and increasing quality of that drug.“As a result, overdose deaths have skyrocketed, more than doubling from 2000 to 2014. More people — 47,05 5— died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any other year in American history. (Perhaps the most famous of these, Philip Seymour Hoffman, died on February 2, 2014, right at the height of the epidemic.) That’s 125 people a day, more than five lives every hour, a fatality level that matched the AIDS epidemic’s peak in 1995.”
Check out the full article here.
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