War on Drugs and Terror (10:03)
The war on drugs and the war on terror became connected after the United States declared war on Afghanistan, the world's largest opium producer. The CIA was charged with finding and capturing Osama bin Laden. The CIA helped make Hamid Karzai became interim leader despite his connections to heroin trafficking.
Patriot Act (03:36)
Though the Patriot Act was signed to fight terrorism, many of its provisions are used in drug prosecutions. The majority of warrants under the Patriot Act in its early years were for drug searches.
Mexican Border Towns (08:28)
Four main Mexican cartels fought over control of the border with the United States. A Juarez Cartel member became an informant for U.S. agents in exchange for protection. He informed the U.S. about the number of Mexican law enforcement agents who were working for the cartels.
El Chapo (05:49)
Joaquin Guzman, or El Chapo, was the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel and the most powerful drug lord in Mexico. He planned to take out the other cartels controlling the border crossings. A Sinaloa cartel member was providing information to the DEA to serve El Chapo's interests.
Expanding Cartel Violence (05:26)
The Sinaloa Cartel took on the Gulf Cartel, which controlled the eastern border crossings. Cartel violence greatly increased. The president had the military respond, which led to more violence.
Prescription Drug Abuse (06:15)
Prescription drugs and the pharmaceutical industry were mostly overlooked for the first decades of the war on drugs. A legal loophole allowed for the development of pain management clinics, which prescribed large numbers of pain killers. One clinic in Florida served more than 500 patients a day.
Prescription Overdoses (05:00)
Law enforcement began to suspect the Florida clinic after out-of-state patients begin overdosing on their drives home. The FBI and DEA raided the clinic. More than 50 overdose deaths were traced back to the clinic.
DEA in Afghanistan (05:16)
DEA agents were sent to investigate the drug trade in Afghanistan, which was financially supporting the Taliban. DEA agents went undercover to buy opium in the open at bazaars. New laws allowed the DEA to charge drug traffickers with narcoterrorism.
CIA in Afghanistan (10:43)
While the DEA was only interested in arresting drug traffickers, the CIA saw they could be useful assets to infiltrating the Taliban. Afghanistan's largest heroin trafficker was capture but released with the promising of providing information about the Taliban to the CIA. He was later deemed to be working against the U.S. and was arrested.
Sinaloa Cartel Civil War (08:15)
The Sinaloa Cartel expanded its territory and was making millions trafficking drugs to the United States. Cartel infighting caused deadly violence in Mexico.
Legalizing Marijuana (04:36)
Marijuana was criminalized in the early 20th century and government propaganda demonized it. Colorado was the first state to decriminalize marijuana in 2014 and 27 others followed. Legalization of marijuana has threatened the business of Mexican cartels.
El Chapo's Capture (05:46)
Despite being the most wanted man in Mexico, El Chapo avoided capture for years. He escaped from Mexico's most secure prisoner. He was captured again and extradited to the United States.
Failed War on Drugs (05:55)
The Sinaloa Cartel has continued to operate without El Chapo's presence. Every time the United States took out a drug lord, another arose to fill the vacancy and the drug trade continued.
Credits: Heroin, Terrorist, & Kings of Pain (00:26)
Credits: Heroin, Terrorist, & Kings of Pain
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