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Illegal narcotic drugs represent a $60 billion market in the U.S., and this year alone the State and Federal governments will each spend roughly $20 billion in attempting to stifle this market. The amount of money involved in the drug trade, substantially inflated due to prohibition, makes both systemic corruption and violence inevitable. The illegal drug trade is a sophisticated international network, and while no nation’s involvement is limited to one economic function, one relationship is crystal clear: Mexico serves as a high-volume channel of drugs into the United States, and drug traffickers will go to great lengths to continue serving the American consumers as long as their demand exists. A 1997 article stated that narcotics funnel as much as $30 billion into the Mexican economy each year, “more than the country’s top two legitimate exports combined.”[1]

Despite decades of attempts to control this illegal activity, the public perception is that the United States’ war on drugs has failed to substantially reduce both the supply and demand of illega…