As if all the opium in the world is not already stockpiled in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey, now Chinese chemists are flooding the Mexican cartels with synthetics, simplifying their logistics and boosting their profits.
Why smuggle heroin when you can import Fentanyl and press pills in any basement? More, why smuggle Fentanyl when you can make your own using simple precursors?
Real heroin from the poppy is no longer needed. All that the cartels need is chemists. People. And they smuggle people all day long.
For me, I continue to marvel that only the heroin market can literally kill its customers and still continue to grow.
Mr. Farrell talks about "public corruption" as though it is the reason why the decades long War on Drugs has failed. A real war on drugs would focus on the demand side, not supply side interdiction.
But this would upend untold programs and interfere with grants and an official government supply of funding that is more addictive, perhaps, than the drug itself.
Our entire system of drug interdiction has failed. But no one will draw the obvious conclusion, and admit that the US government must compete directly for the arms of addicts on the streets.
That is a bridge too far. I will write more on this in coming days.
"I've discussed how public corruption is fueled by the flow of Mexican drug cartel heroin across our southern border. Be sure to go back and watch earlier episodes of On Watch, specifically, our premier show and episode 3 to get up to speed on those subjects.
Today, we’re going to talk about fentanyl. Fentanyl is a narcotic. A very powerful synthetic opioid that’s properly used as a pain medication. It works quickly and has a relatively short duration of action in the body. Most often, it’s used to alleviate pain after surgery and with late-stage cancer patients.
For the past few years, there has been increasing evidence of heroin being cut with fentanyl. Additional analogs or permutations of fentanyl – more powerful and deadly – have been appearing with increasing frequency and variety. Perhaps most alarming, a lethal fentanyl dose is only about 2 milligrams—that’s a very small amount.
Outlaw laboratories in China have been creating new, unregulated variants of fentanyl, some of them even more potent than the original.
China’s chemical and pharmaceutical labs have few regulations and operate with the cooperation of corrupt government officials. The Chinese fentanyl variants make it easier for drug traffickers to elude law enforcement and create new challenges for both public health and law enforcement officials.
A few days ago, I met with a toxicologist who works in the Coroner’s Office for a major American city in the Mid-West. The toxicologist told me that all of the heroin overdose deaths in that city involved heroin cut with fentanyl or one of its variants.
Heroin is no longer just heroin. That's the disturbing trend over the past few years. The toxicologist told me that a fentanyl analog called carfentanil – elephant tranquilizer – was in every overdose death the Coroner’s Office was currently investigating.
The magazine, Science, reports that Chinese internet sites advertising fentanyl, carfentanil, and other variants, are labeled as "research chemicals," and sold through the mail to the U.S. On one website, carfentanil sold for $361 for 50 grams: tens of thousands of lethal doses.
Mexican drug cartels continue to grow and harvest poppies, but now, like the Chinese, they can also get their hands on precursor chemicals and create fentanyl in their own labs.
The direct threat to American lives and communities could not be any graver.
According to the CDC, the U.S. consumes 85% of all the world's natural and synthetic opiates. Opioid overdoses have quintupled since 1999.
Our decades-long “War on Drugs” has been a half-hearted cat-and-mouse game. We’re losing.
Vigorous prosecution of a TRUE war on drugs and ALL of the related public corruption attached to it must begin now.
I’m Chris Farrell . . . On Watch."
ETA: This piece was originally a rant on my Facebook page, Magic Kingdom Dispatch: