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October 21, 2009 Permalink

2009 UN World Drug report

The 2009 United Nations World Drug report, released earlier this year, notes that 2009 marks "the end of the first century of drug control (it all started in Shanghai in 1909)", and that the illicit drug market worldwide has now become a $320 billion-per-year industry. As drug-related violence in Mexico appears to continue unabated, and crackdowns in Afghanistan are being made against its massive opium crops, new efforts are also being made worldwide in methods of enforcement and treatment of recovering addicts. Collected here are a handful of recent images from the rough world of illegal drugs across the globe. (37 photos total)

Heroin addict Ganamgul complains that his body is in pain going through withdrawal on the second day of the detox program, after 17 years of addiction, at the Kabul Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation Center September 28, 2009 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Since the center opened in May 2009 it has rehabilitated over 400 addicts in its 100 bed facility with temporary funding from International Organization of Migration (IOM) and help from the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH). The program lasts for 45 days combining both detox and rehabilitation. The center houses the 2 leading organizations that offer detox programs, Wadan and Nejat. A US Department of State report 2009 states that there are an estimated two million drug users in the country with at least 50-60,000 drug addicts in Kabul alone. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
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314 comments so far...

Amazing set of photo's.

Posted by Dave Jones October 21, 09 01:15 PM

The truth beating again

Posted by Drunk October 21, 09 01:15 PM

Picture 16 disgusts me. It's one thing to voluntarily harm oneself, but to offer drugs to an infant, absolutely shameful

Posted by Tom from Canada October 21, 09 01:19 PM


Posted by Menkaure. October 21, 09 01:22 PM

Shocking pictures, and proof of the scourge of drugs on societies everywhere.

Posted by Alexander L October 21, 09 01:23 PM

What a Wonderful World

Posted by Anonymous October 21, 09 01:26 PM

Horrified. Have never, will never understand why people do this to themselves.

Posted by Manuela October 21, 09 01:43 PM

If there was no economic incentive for Mexico to bring marijuana into the US seems like there might be a few less dead bodies... We all know how well prohibition works! Where would the Chicago mob be without that wonderful boost?

Posted by Anonymous October 21, 09 01:47 PM

Brutal collection, but important to see. Good work.

Posted by Jay October 21, 09 01:50 PM

holy sh*t

Posted by Bob Desimon October 21, 09 01:53 PM

I'm speechless. The pictures of the dead. Oh my.

Posted by Cody October 21, 09 01:55 PM

"...illegally grown opium poppies..."
this brings up the question: are there legally grown opium poppies???

Posted by cXc October 21, 09 01:58 PM

During Prohibition, there was an unlikely alliance between Baptists, who wanted to make sure that alcohol stayed banned for moral reasons, and Bootleggers, who wanted to make sure that their monopoly on alcohol profits was maintained.

It's exactly the same today. Most of the badness that comes from the drug trade today could be ended if we legalized, regulated, and taxed all drugs. No more gang wars, no more addicts hastily injecting in alleys and sharing needles, and billions of dollars saved in law enforcement.

Unfortunately, the Bootleggers and Baptists are back in full force, and they're joined by the Bobbies - the police-industrial complex. The Drug Wars are immensely profitable for these groups, and they'll fight any efforts to end drug prohibition.

Posted by Common Sense October 21, 09 02:01 PM

I think it's interesting that the more grisly images of death are thought to be more traumatic that the ones of living people actively destroying themselves.

Posted by Jake October 21, 09 02:02 PM

These are some painfully harsh truths. Intense photos. I'm glad I'm not in these situations. @ryanve

Posted by ryanve October 21, 09 02:04 PM

Much more disgusted by the harm this "war" does than the effects of the substances themselves

Posted by chapman October 21, 09 02:06 PM

wow 100 years of the war on drugs and look at all of this...... it would appear as if the drugs are winning.

Posted by hey October 21, 09 02:06 PM

Where are the shots of alcoholics? Or those scraping together pennies just to buy a pack of cigarettes? Why is marijuana, which is nearly impossible to overdose on, shown in the same light at heroin?

The war on drugs is justified only with misinformation. It's time to start talking about the issue rationally.

Posted by B. Burke October 21, 09 02:07 PM

Great photos. Sickening content.

Posted by Tomara October 21, 09 02:08 PM

Good collection. This is a side of reality that must be acknowledged, but I think a positive collection, with pictures of these countries and its people, is in order. This other side, much more rare to the foreigner's perspective, must be recognized as well.

In the meantime, for those interested in Colombia, I recommend visiting

Posted by barreneche October 21, 09 02:12 PM

All these drugs fill the coffers of Swiss Bank A/c holders. If funding towards drugs is stopped half the battle is won and it must start with transparency and disclosure of money

Posted by Anonymous October 21, 09 02:16 PM

#16 breaks my heart.

Posted by Neal October 21, 09 02:16 PM

#35 the description is horrible !

however nice pictures !

Posted by oulila October 21, 09 02:17 PM

drugs doesn't do anything good to health and community.

Evil acts start with that illegal drug. Throwing your life away for whats worth?

Posted by elmo October 21, 09 02:20 PM

The bridge spanning the gap between real life and Hollywood just became a single stepping stone

Posted by Jeff Guymon October 21, 09 02:22 PM

These images will burn in my mind a lot longer than the bowl I smoked while I was looking at them.

Posted by LGR October 21, 09 02:26 PM

How easy is to get and use drugs in the "First World Countries". Some times people see it as "Normal". But this is the truth: what we normaly don´t see. Shame on us!

Posted by Mauro October 21, 09 02:27 PM


Posted by Alex October 21, 09 02:31 PM

I'm surprised there are no photos of law enforcement and soldiers using the drugs they confiscate. we know it happens, take a look at LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

Posted by Steve October 21, 09 02:32 PM

Outlawing drugs will never eliminate abuse. Legalizing drugs eliminates the need to violent actions to control the trade and the need to spend enormous fortunes trying to combat it. That money can then be spent on helping these poor folks who have lost control of their lives, as seen so dramatically here.

Posted by ShawnH October 21, 09 02:38 PM

#34 is Morpheus!!!

Posted by Haplo October 21, 09 02:38 PM

Thanks. I have never seen Crystal Meth before. Now I know.
And I'm sorry but we need to keep up the war on the drug scourge. Picture #16 is my reason why.

Posted by David October 21, 09 02:39 PM

The only thing more shocking than the pictures of the dead, are the pictures of the children living in a world they will never be able to control. Addicted by birth, they have no chance of escape.

Posted by Julia October 21, 09 02:39 PM

Sad and scary.

Posted by Mccray October 21, 09 02:41 PM

The images of the severed head, shot up bodies and various bloodied things did not disturb me as much as the children in the presence of addicts who don't care. I have never been able to understand how people can do this not just to themselves, but to their own children. And the grandfather practically forcing his infant grandchild to do it? Words cannot possibly describe how disgusted I am. I wish I could snatch those poor souls away from all that. If I had one wish that would come true, I would be to rid the world of this plague.

Posted by Mandi October 21, 09 02:44 PM

#7, it's not as hard to understand why people become drug addicts as you might think. One moldy piece of fruit (those who would get others hooked in order to make money or fund their own habit) quickly poisons the rest of the bunch. In many cases, the group is doing it and the young have a desperate need to belong. Plus, the feel-good is right now. The nasty, horrifying consequences are hours, months, or years away, and when one is high, those consequences seem still further off. We don't have as much conscious control over our bodies as we like to casually think we do, and we certainly don't have control over large, sweeping social enigmas that give rise to billion dollar drug economies, as a century of world-wide drug wars clearly demonstrates.

Posted by TCB October 21, 09 02:44 PM

Sobering and chilling.

Posted by drea October 21, 09 02:47 PM

Isn't it a bit risky to stand 5 meters next to a burning sh*tpile of marijuana?

Posted by SP4 October 21, 09 02:52 PM

#3 It's obvious that he is joking. Sleep soundly tonight.
¡How bad is the situation in Mexico! :S

Posted by Noanonimo October 21, 09 02:52 PM

The only solution is the death penalty for dealers/traffickers etc!

Posted by Grant October 21, 09 03:04 PM

I feel the same way as responses 13 and 18. The drug war costs us money, but it's seen as a business expense by the druglords. If you want to get rid of them and the violence they generate, out-compete them.

As long as there's a market for the drugs there will always be suppliers. And there will always be people who want the drugs.

So legalizing and regulating the drugs might cause more people to start using, but with increased regulation the drugs will become less harmful and the violent element will be removed entirely. The government gains a bunch of revenue it can spend on drug treatment and stops spending money on the drug war.

The alternative is to continue as things are, which is worse all around.

And don't forget, even if you take away all the drugs kids will choke themselves and sniff markers to get high. The drug war isn't about solving our social problems.

Posted by 1d30 October 21, 09 03:17 PM

'"...illegally grown opium poppies..."
this brings up the question: are there legally grown opium poppies???
Posted by cXc October 21, 09 01:58 PM '

Yes. Opium is used to make many narcotics prescribed by doctors. It can be formed chemically for pharmaceutical use as well.

Posted by ChrisB October 21, 09 03:19 PM

#16 breaks my heart as well. the poor child is destined to be an addict with grandparents like that.

Posted by Mark H October 21, 09 03:23 PM

one of the best sets here ever!! truly amazing

Posted by tim October 21, 09 03:26 PM

#16 and #17 remind me of my own childhood, sitting in the livingroom while cigarette smoke filled the rooms from my relatives and the booze was passed from person to person. I am SO glad I never started smoking, or drinking, or any of that. Unfortunately people I care about are not so lucky.

Please keep fighting the war on drugs, and narcotics of all kinds, alcohol, the works. :[ Tell people you know how evil it is, don't do drugs, quit smoking and avoid mainly alcohol based establishments when you go out for dinner. Thanks!

Posted by Jenny October 21, 09 03:30 PM

Of course they are. What do you think where do derivatives of morphine used in painkillers come from? Not from Afghanistan though, but from India...

Posted by kln October 21, 09 03:31 PM

These images merely demonstrate the harms caused to individuals and our communities in our current prevention and control systems for drug sales and drug use. The current solutions to curb drug sales and drug dependence are clearly an incorrect response and these pictures solidify these sad truths.

It is time that we rid ourselves and our communities of political games and sociological ideals as the norm and rather confront reality with research and evidence on how to reduce these harms.

Posted by JennyJ October 21, 09 03:39 PM

How do we reason that legalizing drugs will help people from destroying their lives? Even if it is true that gang wars would end, the blatant truth is that there is nothing good about using drugs. From Hollywood to Harlem to Mexico and Afghanistan, show me where use of drugs results in anything good. If it is good, why do we see pictures of addicts who want OUT from that lifestyle. We are not created for such folly.

Posted by Teresa October 21, 09 03:42 PM

It's pretty obvious that dealers and traffickers do not fear death, therefore death penalty will not stop them. On the other hand, it will increase the violence they apply to others, including police officers. I agree with legalisation.

Posted by lluis October 21, 09 03:44 PM

Full of anticipitation I went to get my Wednesday Big Picture fix, was so in need of sweet pictures but I undrestand life is not sweet.
Thanks for these pictures, it is an awesome collection and I am sure put the lives of many photographers at risk as well.Great blog!

Posted by Jim October 21, 09 04:04 PM

If we just legalize all drugs, and use all the money we waste on this useless 'war on drugs' on education (about drugs), care for addicts and fighting poverty, the world would be such a better place.

Posted by Bert October 21, 09 04:13 PM

This is retarded. Legalize it, regulate it, offer it free to addicts if need be. Take the money out of the drug trade and the killing stops.

A century of criminalizing drug sellers and users has nothing to show for itself but death and misery. Time to go find a new way.

Posted by Nathan October 21, 09 04:18 PM

Why are we preventing these people from killing themselves?

Posted by Chris October 21, 09 04:24 PM

These are photos of war. If it were legal, these photos wouldn't exist. The photos of peace would be much more clean, but we won't see that because people are idiots... bottom line.

Posted by Dale October 21, 09 04:37 PM

Great, it seems that there are no drug addicts in the U.S.

Posted by Gerardo Sifuentes October 21, 09 04:39 PM

@12 You might be growing some on your backyard, too.

Posted by Anonymous October 21, 09 04:44 PM

Too bad for photo #26! I was beginning to believe we didn't have any kind of drug problem here in America. ;)

Seriously folks, it's such a shame that so many fine, fine Mexican citizens have to suffer in order to get us our weed and 'caine. When it comes to drugs, buy domestic.

Posted by kevjohn October 21, 09 04:48 PM

I'm hoping I can see the pics that have since been removed. Any suggestions for Google searches that will get me to them will be appreciated.

Posted by danm October 21, 09 04:54 PM

All this death and violence is because of prohibition.

Posted by jeff October 21, 09 04:57 PM

That guy on #2 looks like hes 3ft tall??

Posted by noah October 21, 09 05:01 PM

So, the photos of the dead are more objectionable than the close-up of a person injecting himself? I can tell you which makes me shudder more...

Posted by Laura October 21, 09 05:04 PM

"The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." — Albert Einstein

The "War on Drugs" is an excellent example of stupidity.

Posted by JR October 21, 09 05:15 PM

This is some of the hardest hitting photography I've seen here for a while.

Posted by KJ October 21, 09 05:16 PM

VERY CLEARLY the "war on drugs" isn't working - legalization and social support is the only way we can help people suffering from addiction and end the violence

Posted by mort October 21, 09 05:17 PM

Hands down the best photo journalism team in America. Please keep "The Big Picture" around forever.

Posted by Alex October 21, 09 05:20 PM


Posted by Edgar Flores October 21, 09 05:25 PM

"How do we reason that legalizing drugs will help people from destroying their lives? Even if it is true that gang wars would end, the blatant truth is that there is nothing good about using drugs. From Hollywood to Harlem to Mexico and Afghanistan, show me where use of drugs results in anything good."

Legalizing drugs will allow them to be taxed to help addicts, allow harm-prevention programs (clean needle distribution, etc.), and end much of the violence associated with drugs.Nearly all violence due to drugs is traced back to prohibition, not the drugs themselves.

How about this? I smoke cannabis multiple times every day, and generally it feels just like when I take any other medicine. I use it to focus, to manage chronic pain, help with my mood (caused by the chronic, and at times debilitating, pain), and for the sheer fun of it. I enjoy getting high, and if I can't...I simply don't. At the very least when it comes to marijuana, there is no real addiction. As for destroying my life...well I'm a psychology student focusing on neurobiology (ie the hard track) at the top university in my state, and am currently studying for the GREs so I can go after a PhD...all that stuff about cannabis being a demotivator? Nothing but bullshit. Thanks to marijuana and its insights, I discovered what I really wanted to do with life (previously I was an engineering major and not doing well because I couldn't be interested in it), got out of a toxic relationship, and improved my grades.

Yep, drugs are SO harmful!

"If it is good, why do we see pictures of addicts who want OUT from that lifestyle. We are not created for such folly.""

I contend both a) you see pictures of addicts of SOME drugs (heroin, crystal meth, and nicotine, which is legal), but not of ALL drugs, because a great many of them are non-addictive and harmless (marijuana, the psychedelics), most of the problems are caused by the drugs being illegal and b) we are not created at all.

Posted by Adam October 21, 09 05:25 PM

So very sad and wrong that some people offer drugs to children, and especially their own grandchildren! I'm deeply shocked and outraged.

Not to mention the rest of the issues displayed here. Things people do to themselves...

There has to be a better solution to this problem. If only we could figure it out sooner and get to the core of the issue: convincing people not to start using drugs to begin with. It never ends well.

Posted by Dana October 21, 09 05:32 PM

I'm surprised. One thing I have always loved about The Big Picture is its editors' ability to include images that convey the proverbial two sides of the coin. In a collection of images titled UN World Drug Report, where are the photos that represent the HUGE demand for drugs in the U.S.? Isn't that a big part of the picture as well?

Posted by Marcela October 21, 09 05:39 PM

another great set of strong pics!

Posted by Heimana October 21, 09 05:43 PM

daily food for the news here in Mexico
I don´t watch them anymore

Posted by Adrián García García October 21, 09 05:44 PM

It would have been nice if #29's caption had said "chunks of brain on the wall" instead of just "blood-stained wall". Blood is one thing...chunks, totally different...

Posted by akinoluna October 21, 09 05:44 PM

Reminds me of Breaking Bad. Great show, 3rd season coming up.
Drugs ruin lives, that's for sure. I'd like to try when I'm eighty or something xD

Posted by Apoelistas October 21, 09 05:50 PM

UN has recently pre-longed their tactic against drugs by saying the global policies are "showing progress worldwide".

When will we stop this terrible war?

Posted by Reynolds October 21, 09 05:52 PM

This is horrible. I am pretty upset with the "grandfather"(although not acting like one) in photo 16. His eyes are filled with darkness in this picture. I am also sad to see that my hometown, Columbia, is the only North American city in this whole group of pictures. Thanks for ending with a positive and hopeful picture.

Posted by Andrew October 21, 09 06:03 PM

Just for nothing

Posted by Joseph Smith October 21, 09 06:03 PM

Prohibition causes crime.

Posted by Alan Rockefeller October 21, 09 06:08 PM

Re: Picture 16. Many people are simply unable to provide food for themselves or their families. They smoke opium to keep the hunger pangs at bay. When the starving babies cry for food, they give them what they have to quiet them and take away their pain.

Posted by Free Knowledge October 21, 09 06:11 PM

shocking but truly pictures, im just kinda upset..first of all pic #16 so sad but what the hell are this people doing? second thing.. what a shame on this people that never have been in mexico, thinks that we all Mexicans are like u see in this tijuana pics, and that we have donkeys in front of our houses, Needs to read,travel,learn more abt it,the truth is that drugs does exist around the world and yes, mexicans send drugs to US but thats because americans use them for tons, and buy just what they cant produce.

Posted by marco October 21, 09 06:13 PM

i wont to ask you do thls picture in this sit

Posted by Anonymous October 21, 09 06:15 PM

Reasons to live and to remain healthy need to outweigh the desire to escape.
Drug abuse is a primarily symptom caused when greed and power are mixed with a lack of will by the hapless.
LEGALIZED DRUGS CREATE DRUG DEPENDENT NATIONS. Review some history especially the drug dens of China. Look at these photos. History is close to repeating itself.
Faith and hope that there is something better must abound with the power of action. Individuals, families, communities, governments and, religious groups must stand together in stating that drug abuse is destructive.
Many must stand together against the lie, false escape and, popular myth that makes forbidden drugs desired.
Exchange "Try it you'll like it" for "Choose life, you are loved."
A little dope is NOT OK. A little dope evidences division.
My choice to live is based in one who give his all for me, Jesus Christ.

Posted by Paul October 21, 09 06:16 PM

What about the Netherlands? Drugs are "legal" there..maybe they don't have problems?

Posted by Eve Paronen October 21, 09 06:20 PM

@14 / Jake - what are you talking about? I think most would agree that the most traumatic photo is 16...

Posted by B. October 21, 09 06:25 PM

Lets keep drugs illegal, so drug dealers and peers can push drugs to our children. That will keep them safe.

Posted by Gib Ortherb October 21, 09 06:25 PM

As common rule, the big picture is great...i guess this colletion is not, why?

Because once again the drug problem is focalized in the producer countries... why there aren't pictures of the real consumers in the highly rich countries (United States, UK, Spain, Germany etc etc etc), which keep the production high and constant?

Unfortunately, this is a really biased compilation.

Posted by Antonio October 21, 09 06:25 PM

Something interesting about #15 and #16:

The man is quoted as saying, "I don't have a life. I don't have anything. It's finished. Everything was spent on opium,"

Despite this regret, he still feels it's okay to give opium to his grandchild? I suppose using opium must be really part of the culture

Posted by Shaun October 21, 09 06:26 PM

So sad what addiction does -- even sadder is the violence that prohibition creates.

Posted by Matt October 21, 09 06:39 PM

at the very least marijuana should not be illegal. prohibition of weed + the war on drugs actually creates the problems they are intended to fix. 1 example: people blame marijuana and give a reason for it to be illegal by saying it is a gateway drug, when in reality making it illegal and grouping it with the other heavier black market drugs is what makes it a gateway drug. i recommend watching The Union on google video

Posted by prohibition fails October 21, 09 07:02 PM

PROHIBITION CAUSES VIOLENCE. Murders in America plunged four straight years after alcohol prohibition was repealed. That is not a coincidence. Without the current prohibition of drugs, the people killed due to drug war violence would be alive today. What a shame the war on drugs is.

Posted by JAS October 21, 09 07:15 PM

I think #16 is a load of bull. The photographer probably told him to do this; a kid like that couldn't know how to smoke anything let alone an opium pipe. lol a kid like that could probably barely drink water on his own.

Yea and banning drugs will magically solve the problem of abuse, because we all know you can magically take these things away from everybody everywhere... Yea right. Criminalization serves for nothing but to promote the problems rather than solve them. I GUARANTEE this, it is 100% fact; how can jailing a drug addict help anything? It doesn't, it exacerbates problems and formes organized crime. Sometimes people need OPTIONAL support and harm reduction, not a prison term.

Lastly, cannabis is a healing herb and should not be placed in the same category as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, or even nicotine and alcohol. My dying mother needs cannabis so that she can see her grandkids grow up, or else she dies from multiple sclerosis related complications. This is fact; according to her doctor there is no other treatment option left for her, it's cannabis or the coffin. She should not be viewed in the same light as a person who shoots another man's head off, nor should the majority of people who ingest cannabis. People need to grow up on the cannabis issue, if you drink alcohol you have absolutely zero room to say anything. Come on with that one, I've seen more damage from responsible drinking than irresponsible pot smoking.

Posted by Joe October 21, 09 07:30 PM

Almost every picture above comes from drug-producing countries, poor countries... what about the pictures of "first world countries" which are the main consumers? Let´s take the example of Mexico... I see many pictures of Mexico, mainly Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, but what about some pictures of El Paso, TX or San Diego, CA. The common ground for these cities is that they both are border cities with the biggest market, the US! The same relation happens in the UE, think of Spain and Morocco.

A lot of comments talking about the "war on drugs", but this term is biased to drug production.,.. why not talk about a "war on consumption"?
Yes, send the troops to Afghanistan... but would it be better and even cheaper to educate people? Wars always produce benefits for a really small minority. Why not ask ourselves who is getting a profit on fighting this war?

Yes, semnd

Posted by Juan Perez October 21, 09 07:32 PM

For those who think continuing this war against drugs will stop people like in picture 16 from harming children have another think coming.
Blaming the drugs for the stupid, careless and irresponsible actions of people using drugs early excuse them of thing they will very likely do even if they never ever uncounted drugs.
And as for nothing good ever coming from drug use, try thinking of it this way; The vast majority of drug use never leads to anything bad.

Stop this drug war NOW, it causes more harm than good and lets other harm go untreated

Posted by Chris October 21, 09 07:38 PM

@12: Yes, there are legally grown opium poppies, for the pharmaceutical industry. I too was shocked to learn that- I assumed that all the pills and potions are made in a lab, but they are not- they start off as plants.

I'm upset that marijuana trade gets lumped into the same category as crystal meth and all.

Posted by Katey October 21, 09 07:51 PM

The things people do to themselves and others just to "experience" an altered state of mind...pretty sad.

Posted by Anonymous October 21, 09 08:07 PM

RE: Picture #16. Children in Sarab Village are often born addicted, as their mothers smoked Opium while pregnant. The mothers will blow opium smoke into their infant's faces to calm them. These families have little to no medical care, so when a child gets an infected tooth or other ailment so family members use the opium to, once again, calm the child.

A photo such as this usually has more to it than it first presents.

Posted by Scott October 21, 09 08:46 PM

legalize drugs, but support drug addicts

Posted by Bastian Fromherz October 21, 09 08:47 PM

@Poster #90, Joe.

Actually, to get the infants high, the mothers inhale the opium and blow it into their infant's mouth. I'm thinking that the offering of the pipe to the toddler was simply because a camera was right there as well.

Posted by Charz October 21, 09 08:49 PM

you know, the only reason there's so much violence and additional crime associated with drug trafficking IS BECAUSE IT'S ILLEGAL.

the governments of the world, in their infinite ignorance, do not seem to understand that when you make drugs illegal you create criminal empires; you make criminals rich and powerful. and that creates extraneous problems and extraneous crime that would not exist otherwise.

legalization and regulation across the board are the ONLY ways to truly win the war on drugs.

Posted by Ctothe October 21, 09 09:00 PM

Great selection as usual.
Thanks for 5, 14, 29 and 35. Here in México, mass media will only feed you numbers but they'll never show you actual pictures of the levels of brutality we are living.
I hope we can have this end someday.

Posted by JorgeNMz October 21, 09 09:05 PM

Well, after viewing all those images I really expected to see the HUGE mass of US consumers using this drugs at the college, house, streets, etc. They have the money and will pay for their addictions. I wish the next photo report shows the side of the US consumers. Every time they use a drug someone died in other places of the world for their addiction.

Posted by Leo October 21, 09 09:07 PM


The only solution is the death penalty for dealers/traffickers etc!
Posted by Grant October 21, 09 03:04 PM

how is this only solution going to stop drugs? actually you could already concider illegal drugs a death sentance and it obviously hasn't stopped it,
drugs will always be here, a person in china can get sentenced to death for posession of marijuana but it is still there, how does it solve the problem?
the only end to drug use is an end to all human life.

Posted by mike October 21, 09 10:09 PM

Great Collection!

It's amazing how brutal and blatant the killings in the border towns of Mexico have become. The comments paralleling this to the American Mafia during prohibition are well founded. The picture of the hanged government Official is especially distressing in that it shows the lengths that these cartels are willing to go to to protect their profits.

The only solution to the problem is to stop using drugs or cut the black market out of the equation by stopping the drug war. Either way, this would take a huge cultural shift in the western countries that consume the drugs.

I have a small retail store in Northern California and in this recent economic downturn I have noticed a sharp increase in the amount of customers that visit the store high. Sadly, I am now well-versed in the distinctive smells and behaviors of various heavy drug users. It's a skill set I wish I never had an opportunity to acquire. This problem isn't going away anytime soon.

Posted by Ryan Morris October 21, 09 10:36 PM

The fact remains that legalising some drugs and making others available by prescription only would dramtically lessen the crime, violence and social cost associated with the illegal drug trade.

Prohibition doesn't work. People will always take drugs.

Imagine the tax incomes that would be generated and then spent on education and health care.

How about a bit of balance to the article as well. Where are the alcohol-related pictures? People that judge others and get outraged at this sort of thing while they scoff down another glass of wine are the purest form of hypocrite there is.

Posted by Djinn October 21, 09 10:50 PM

Trouble in Paradise

Posted by Yuliana October 21, 09 10:51 PM

get real people this is big people and in high demand.americans are the biggest and demand..and yes americans demand it

Posted by jon October 21, 09 11:05 PM

The caption on No. 13 needs an update....

Many ex foreign patients at the temple, tell stories of being offered all kinds of narcotics during their stay...

Posted by Adrian in Bangkok October 21, 09 11:31 PM

Not one photo from the US? Did I miss something? It would seem to me we are a huge financial player in "World" of drugs, right?

Posted by The Corey October 21, 09 11:39 PM

Another terrifying face of human world.

Posted by Felix Joseph October 21, 09 11:51 PM

Detox is not reached by prayer, as stated in the last pic. It is medically aided withdrawal from the physical effects of the substance. This can take as little as one week. The problem is with the mental obsession to continue. That is the part that rehab programs work on.

Posted by Jeff October 21, 09 11:59 PM

Some would have us believe that there is no sin in this world!!!!!

Posted by Pastor Keith October 22, 09 12:02 AM

sad... i think, all these pictures are a big argument for drug legalization... that's the only way to stop the violence.

Posted by Anonymous October 22, 09 12:54 AM

cXc says: ' "...illegally grown opium poppies..." -- this brings up the question: are there legally grown opium poppies???'

Er, yes, that's where morphine comes from.

Posted by Steven Noble October 22, 09 01:22 AM

"La drogue c'est de la merde, surtout quand il n'y en a plus"

Posted by Alizé October 22, 09 01:24 AM

Impressive photos as usual..

Thanks to the talented photographers, Good job ;)

Posted by Özgür ALTAY October 22, 09 01:26 AM

this is the cost of eschewing compassionate treatment for draconian punishment, we reap it every day in the form of taxpayer dollars and the bodies of the dead

Posted by SineQuaNon October 22, 09 01:47 AM

Keep the War on Drugs going, it's clearly highly effective. Maybe in another 100 years we'll finally make a dent in those dirty drug pushers!

How ridiculous. People use for countless reasons and in that situation I sympathize with them. Their lives suck and the opium is a way to feel good for a little while.

Posted by ohpee-ate October 22, 09 01:59 AM

16&17 - how can a person be such a bastard to push kids to do drugs...
30 - is this the efficiency in drug problem solving?

Posted by gudirs October 22, 09 02:00 AM

By legalizing drugs, we can actually reduce the number of drug users.


By putting the billions of dollars we currently spend on police, prisons, judges, and lawyers, into education and treatment instead. We can also tax the drugs to create even more funds for education and treatment.

Legalize, regulate, tax, and educate. It's the best solution.

Posted by John October 22, 09 02:16 AM

Some many reactionary comments here. I recommend watching a docu called American Drug War: The Last White Hope - War on Drugs.

Posted by John the Baptist October 22, 09 02:18 AM

Some great, insightful and inspiring (i suppose in the most morbid sence possible) but I am glad to see eye openers like this.

Posted by dezzzz October 22, 09 02:19 AM

Ethnocentrism ftw. Those bastards growing opium. It's much better that we go and burn down their livelihood, after all it's for their own good. It's completely unreasonable for someone to become an addict voluntarily.


Posted by Praxis1452 October 22, 09 02:37 AM

Thanks for sharing this. Welcome to reality people. When you start sharing drugs with kids, where does it end? You introduce an addiction to a whole new generation is if it's normal. Therefore it's good that we share the raw footage from this report.
Box the Brownie

Posted by Boudewijn Boer October 22, 09 03:25 AM

democracy, yet?

Posted by michael October 22, 09 03:35 AM

I think #28 is Superman's fortress of solitude, isn't it?

Posted by Dan October 22, 09 04:03 AM

Great pics. Would've been more powerful if they'd shown images of alcoholics who had sh*t themselves whilst holding a bottle of whiskey, or someone beaten up/stabbed as a result of a drunken brawl that happens every night.

Posted by Jeff Higgins October 22, 09 04:15 AM


Posted by Renaud. October 22, 09 04:28 AM

I want to go get high! Its not the drug its the people, people are responsible for all of that and everyone needs to wake up to the fact! If there was no drug prohibition there would be no awful things as we see in the pics.

Posted by Mandy October 22, 09 04:35 AM

Adam "67" You are such an Idiot...

Posted by Erik October 22, 09 05:01 AM

@ Elmo (24.)

Think you have to look closer to the history of mankind and find that most significant historical figures in Art, Science, Culture etc used some kind of drugs....that stated ; everything that alters the mind/body can be clasified as drug ... all things you use as well......!!!
Nice collection by the way.....

Posted by Pat October 22, 09 05:02 AM

end prohibition, start controlling this market, and all this sh*t is over.
the bad guys are not the ones everyone think.

Posted by plop October 22, 09 05:05 AM

Unless the world poverty problem is solved (which is probably never gonna happen), and people get better education this drug problem will always exist.

Posted by Dezorian October 22, 09 05:06 AM

What biased bullsh*t. These photos all lumped together with the worst sorts of drug abuse present a distorted view of the world of drugs.

Our brains are complex networks of drugs interacting. Our consciousness relies on drugs.

Where are the hallucinogens? Where are images of the positive aspects of drugs? Anyone who says there are no positives only say that because they have only seen negatives presented, over and over. There is another side to the story. Human beings have coexisted with plants and the chemicals inside them that turn people on for at least tens of thousands of years.

It's so easy to demonize and criticize. I think this was a very irresponsible representation of the world of drugs as a whole. But thank you for allowing comments so that people viewing can see that not all agree with the depiction.

Posted by Blip-dipper October 22, 09 05:23 AM

It's the photos with kids that really get to me. Yet despite the shocking nature of these photos, I can't help but appreciate the incredible photography itself
In response to post 12- yes there are legally grown poppies. I assume they're used for medicinal purposes. Fields can be seen in Tasmania, Australia.

Posted by Elise October 22, 09 05:57 AM

immagini molto forti che fanno riflettere sul mondo della droga e quello che lo circonda, spero possano servire ha qualcuno per trovare una via d'uscita da quello schifo chiamato droga.

Posted by adamo October 22, 09 07:14 AM

I dont understand what makes people have so little respect for themselves and others. Great pictures.Thanks again.

Posted by Ged October 22, 09 07:17 AM

wake up people! these are the consequences of the war on drugs!
governments should be ashamed what they did to this world.

Posted by mcz October 22, 09 07:26 AM

While I appreciate the efforts of people around the world to reduce the circulation of drugs, I feel the attempts are futile to a degree.

People will abuse and they will find their drugs. It's a sad reality. In essence, they are committing a slow suicide and they are taking everyone they know and love along for the ride. Pieces of sh*t.

Posted by DrugsAreBadMmkay October 22, 09 08:16 AM

If drugs were legal and regulated, none of this violence would have any reason to happen. Every government could save billions on enforcement, prisons and hospital care. Again, regulated, just like prescriptions. Addicts would have to register and be regimented, eventually and gradually eased off the drugs. It's possible and plausible.

To say that we are at war with drugs is a misnomer. You can win a war. This is a perpetuation of a violent cycle.

Posted by ben October 22, 09 09:16 AM

Wow, I found #16 more disturbing than any of the others.....probably because I've seen those in movies loads of times. This is an incredible series of pictures, thank you.

Posted by Laurita October 22, 09 09:17 AM

I agree with mcz, first we have to wake up all the man kind (including china, africa, north corea).
So how we can do that ?
I'm from Brazil, and here they pass on TV NEWS, websites,(, any kind of these information.

Second, how china people can woke up, if the internet is limited?

Why spend a billion US$'s with NASA, SALELITES, if these improvements DO NOT help the human kind, only the feel people in this HOLE WORLD ?

Drugs are good for these powerfull people, keeps alienate people , without thinking and massive actions!

We are talking about CIVIL WAR or nothing!
Rio de Janeiro , ROCINHA, why police, even army, can take down the drugs dealers ?
Becose here we have a lot's, LOTS, a politcs who work or financing these drugs dealers !
The ask we have to think is, Why all races have one "Consensual Agreement ?

Posted by Wake Up Call October 22, 09 09:22 AM



Posted by JAIME October 22, 09 10:27 AM

Intelligence agencies around the world make enormous profits from drugs. Only those drug dealers that try to work independently of the CIA or MI6 get shut down.

Why support the clandestine activities of these organizations by becoming a drug consumer?

Posted by Perry Keet October 22, 09 10:51 AM

All this because stubborn, racist, greedy governments can't accept change. Stop prohibition, stop crime

Posted by The only one with sense. October 22, 09 10:56 AM


What? You presented that information like it made the picture okay. Why is it okay that the children are BORN ADDICTED?!?!? You actually made the picture much worse, thanks for shedding light.

Posted by Dan Johnson October 22, 09 11:11 AM

So it would be easier to legalize drugs rather than fight the war? That has got to be the dumbest thing I ever heard. What about legalizing murder and pedophilia because they too have been around forever, and people will always kill and harm children anyway. We could just get them counseling and slowly ween them away from their violent and distructive behavior. That is the problem with the liberal mind and why this world is in the shape its in. KILL ALL DEALORS AND THEIR FAMILIES, thats a solution

Posted by doug October 22, 09 11:22 AM

Fantastic pictures! Sad and moving.

Although I understand why people feel that it just needs to be legalized, regulated and's just not that simple. If those things did happen, the drugs wouldn't be as strong because they would be government made and regulated. (Example, medicinal marijuana has a lower amount of THC than some made in a dealer's grow lab) Because the drugs would be weaker, people would seek out the stronger drugs....and the same things keep happening. Growers keep growing, dealers keep dealing and addicts keep using. Education and more appropriate drug laws. Filling our prisons with "small time" drug dealers is not the best solution to these problems. Mandatory drug testing weekly/monthly, revoked licenses, an appropriate amount of jail time if need be, substance abuse counseling, etc., etc. There are many alternatives.

To make a long story short: Legalizing it won't make the problem go away.

Posted by J October 22, 09 11:33 AM

so a question that aches in my mind: where do the people get the money for this habit? I've "indulged" in these things (not the hardcore type) years ago but I kept a job and it didn't effect my daily life. Do they resort to crime to get their money or do their work hard and blow it all on drugs??

Posted by jack October 22, 09 11:56 AM

really sads pictures bc i live on Mexico and this pictures we saw it all the time.....!!!! truly sad!!!!

Posted by Anonymous October 22, 09 11:57 AM


Posted by Adamist October 22, 09 12:04 PM

All this is thanx to the ilegalization of drugs, thanks goverments of the world for create mafias, for criminalize peole, for adulterate drugs, thanxs

Posted by JohnSmith October 22, 09 12:32 PM

Thank you #145- finally a comment that makes sense! I really don't have much compassion for the "bad guys" who choose to get caught up in this stuff, unlike all of the innocent people that they drag down along with them- people are so self absorbed that they don't care or understand that everything they do affects countless others... It is very simple- Do Bad Things and Bad Things Will Happen To You!- Do Good Things and Less Bad Things Will Happen! We are rapidly moving to a world where anything goes- Rules and Laws are the only thing that allows us to survive...

Posted by MCHammer October 22, 09 01:10 PM

The picture of the killed Mexican politician was the saddest. I don't know his entire story but I would imagine this is what he gets for trying to fight the drug cartels from taking over his country.

Posted by Meredith October 22, 09 01:37 PM

It's funny how all the photos were taken in Mexico, Afghanistan, and all this poor places... I know a lot of rich people IN the US making use of the same drugs. Would like to see a picture of the pretty, skinny and glamourous model doing a line... It seems like all the drugs and drug addicts come from poor places and are for poor people. Big mistake.

Posted by Elisa October 22, 09 01:44 PM

I used to think that drugs should be legalized, but #17 has changed my mind completely. Humanity can't move forward when it's stoned out of it's mind.

Posted by Melanie October 22, 09 01:44 PM

@146: J, why isn't there a big underground market in alcohol? It's regulated, and the potency is controlled, but people would rather purchase it legally if possible. Sure, there may be some black market, but not enough to support the kind of criminal enterprises that we have with the illegal drugs.

@145 Doug. If you can't tell the difference between marijuana and pedophilia, then you're not going to get invited to the good parties. When you arrest a murderer, there isn't an immediate job opening for murder caused by that economic vacuum, like there is with drugs. Black market is an entirely different thing and if you want to reduce both the harms caused by drugs and by prohibition, then you have to stop putting the entire market in the hands of criminals.

Posted by Pete Guither October 22, 09 01:49 PM

In the US, at least, the 'War on Drugs' will never stop, at least so long as there are folks making tons of money on that war. Police departments... the drug rehab industry... the alcohol industry... the prison industry... the legal profession... Republican politicans... Mexican/Colombian drug cartels... all of these groups, and many others, would lose big $$$ if even just cannabis were decriminalized. Too, no politician has the guts to stand up and say, "Guys, we should at least discuss the pros and cons." Doing so would guarantee they'd be labeled in every subsequent conservative campaign ad as a wild-eyed liberal who wants to distribute pot and cocaine to kindergartners.

I hold out hope that someday intelligence and logic will take over policy matters, but until the radical right is forced to release its grip, that ain't gonna happen.

Posted by Jim Pettit October 22, 09 02:12 PM

It is painfully to live in a World in which drogs and cirme are abundant, in one side of the the picture, in the other side of the picture,is good to see that at leat the law and justicie are doing the best that they can for to be there and cooperate with the authorities. Luz

Posted by Luz Rivera Perez October 22, 09 02:22 PM

Millions of people die and billions of money go into the pockets of those who chase drugs.

Posted by Marios October 22, 09 03:59 PM

@Jim Pettit (post #156)

Your insightful feedback begs the question whether Afghan villages filled with families of drug addicts are controlled by the Taliban or by US/British forces. Could clarify. Thanks in advance.

Pictures #16 and #17 were sad, indeed.

Posted by Bill E. Goatt October 22, 09 03:59 PM

I am somewhat heartened that so many readers realize the futility and wrongness of the so-called "War on Drugs." I will donate to LEAP this year, again.

Posted by AguaCaliente October 22, 09 04:10 PM

When alcohol was illegal there were horrible gang wars in the US and speakeasies flourished.

The EXACT same thing is the case for other drugs. I don't think drugs like heroin should be legal but c'mon..

we spend BILLIONS on trying to control marijuana
cartels make BILLIONS thanks to its illegality.
we lose BILLIONS in tax revenue that could do so much for addicts of all drugs -- alcohol, meth, crack, etc

Posted by Frank L, Boston October 22, 09 04:19 PM

Is there not police in tijuana mexico, a lot of killers

Posted by Anonymous October 22, 09 04:59 PM

This is a product of prohibition. Black markets are filled with violent gangs of criminals and corrupt governments(also violent criminals whether corrupt or "non-corrupt"). The same thing happened in alcohol prohibition.,8599,1893946,00.html

Posted by yoyo October 22, 09 05:04 PM

Quote from post #67: "I enjoy getting high, and if I can't...I simply don't. At the very least when it comes to marijuana, there is no real addiction. As for destroying my life...well I'm a psychology student focusing on neurobiology (ie the hard track) at the top university in my state, and am currently studying for the GREs so I can go after a PhD...all that stuff about cannabis being a demotivator? Nothing but bullshit. Thanks to marijuana and its insights, I discovered what I really wanted to do with life (previously I was an engineering major and not doing well because I couldn't be interested in it), got out of a toxic relationship, and improved my grades."

Come talk to me and my addicted adolescent...addicted to marijuana. Yes, addicted to marijuana. And yes marijuana is a gateway drug because it puts the person's guard down and allows impulsivity (sp?) to call the a little pot and then a few pills and on it can escalate. People like you don't read medical literature, must have skipped any "addict genes" in your family (and are d*mn lucky for it), and have probably never set foot into a rehab center or a recovery high school. God, people like you are such uniformed fools. Good luck with that Phd...I can see you won't be working with addicts or doing social work.

Posted by Ella October 22, 09 05:05 PM

Pray for these people. They are God's children with a disease...

Posted by Nip October 22, 09 05:10 PM

Can I add that the potency of alcohol is controlled because thats the type of alcohol your drinking. Alcohol cannot be enriched further than 200 proof or 100% by volume alcohol. If you drank 10 shots of alcohol over a 1.5ish hour period theres a good chance you might die.

Whoever said medical cannibus is less potent than "illegal" dealer grown get a clue. I'm sure your average smoker wishes he could get strains w/o seeds ect with large buds. Really?

Legalizing won't work. If you would like to know about the possibilities and the general route before the US taxes and legalizes please watch The Union

Posted by Steve October 22, 09 05:11 PM

Legalise the drugs. Take the profit out of it for the cartels. Educate the people what drugs do and why you should avoid getting addicted. Prohibition is and has always been a total failure. Some people want to do drugs no matter what you tell them and some people want to get on with their lives and do something positive. Let's stop throwing money at prohibition.

Posted by Vincent E October 22, 09 05:20 PM

I understand that a lot of money is spent on fighting the war on drugs that could be put toward rehabilitating people... but guess what that money is going towards? yea... keeping others from getting to the point where we have to spend money to rehabilitate. Think people, legalizing drugs means more people doing it. if its taxed, people will go to a place they can get lower quality, more harmful drugs for cheaper. It wont make the world stop turning as it is and will cause there to be more addicts and fewer dealers. While this means safer drugs (oxymoron?), it also means more addicts which as stated is where the money spent on fighting the war will go instead, and then we are no better off... If people could control themselves and take responsibility for what they do then legalizing might work. But everyone is human and drugs are an easy way out of facing real life not just relaxing. Anyway everyone can keep yelling legalize drugs all you want but I assure you it isn't gonna do a damn thing by saying it here, and anywhere else you say it there will be enough sane people to be there to make sure something stupid doesn't happen because people didnt think things through thoroughly.

And by the way. Yea lets legalize and then tax them woohoo! take advantage of addicts because they cant control themselves! I'm helping them! ...

Posted by Patrick October 22, 09 05:20 PM

They need to leave the weed alone,It is not a drug.Drugs are man made,Weed grows natural,It is not man made.Get rid of every thing else but weed.

Posted by Travis Carpenter October 22, 09 05:22 PM

Legalizing is not the answer. That would just introduce the devil you don't know. Who watches the watcher.

Posted by DJ Lance. October 22, 09 05:26 PM

everyone should step back and reconsider how we as a nation are supporting those in mexico that are murdering anyone who gets in their way. keeping a drug like marijuana illegal keeps them on top. its simple supply and demand. keep it illegal you'll keep them rich and in power. the fact that mass state bill 2929 is on the floor makes me think that some are coming to their senses. and for those who claim that this would be the ned of our youth, think about alcohol and the harm that it causes. then take a look at a country like the, amsterdam netherlands, compare their crime rates and drug usage and it will give you an idea of what will happen if drugs are decriminalized. not to mention the economic upsides which will be huge at a state and federal level, just the money saved on the "war on drugs". which by the way, is the only war that is fought in the inner city. americans as a whole can be so narrow minded and easily misguided that it's no wonder that things have gotten as bad as they have. wake up people!

Posted by mira mira October 22, 09 05:26 PM


Posted by Mike Jones October 22, 09 05:34 PM

#16 made my stomach turn - with Grandma smiling on...

Posted by star hiker October 22, 09 05:38 PM

a picture is worth a thousand word. Truely, terrific work. Best.

Posted by dan October 22, 09 05:38 PM

First.. as always.. incredible pictures!!! ( I especially like the fearlessness of including brutally visceral shots like the severed head or the children smoking opium. To not include them would leave out an important angle of the story)

Secondly... Anyone who believes that you'll eventually win the War on Drugs,.. is sadly mistaken. For thousands upon thousands of years humanity has used various substances to change their perception of reality. (Alcohol, Nicotine, caffeine, marijuana, peyote, etc,etc.) I'm not saying its right.. just saying it happens, and its never going to stop. Making it illegal only makes the problem worse. (on top of drug use/abuse, you then also have created a criminal underground, narco-trafficking and innocent bystander victims).

If you want to have a healthier society... you have to treat drug use as a health/medical problem, not a law enforcement problem. You have to work towards healing families, instead of breaking them apart. You have to invest in the poorer neighborhoods and give those people something to work/hope for instead of only risky choices.

Legalizing it would remove the high payoff, it would remove the connection to violence.. and it would give people options instead of desperation. It's a sensible policy that would put us on track towards a safer society instead of all this gun pointing and death.

Posted by Jason October 22, 09 05:40 PM

That was absolutely riveting photography. I am astonished of how powerful those photos are.

When can we stop arguing about drugs and just face it as a sickness and an epidemic that is ravaging people across the Globe

Posted by Jim October 22, 09 06:06 PM

send them YOUR money to feed their children, or please, shut the f*ck up about picture 16 and the "darkness" in the grandfather's eyes.

you people are so retarded, no wonder you believe what DARE taught you.

Prohibition is not in one's power to impose on another. my body my choice sound familiar?

Legalize, educate, and love people!

Cannabis is not addictive or carcinogenic!

Posted by Peter October 22, 09 06:12 PM

Can we really win the fight against drugs? Drug lords have unlimited funds, semiautomatic guns, and an endless number of customers. News media stations rarely make a point of painting the true picture of what is actually really going on in America and across the globe because viewers "would not be interested in such stories." Please, educate us. Show us. And we will care.

Posted by I care! October 22, 09 06:21 PM

as a citizen of the earth, and as a christian, i believe all human beings are entitled to all of God's plants. They were created for us. Stop destroying them, and stop banning them. You are attempting to bring extinction to plant species, and you're trying to ban God. Weed is the New Jew and the Drug War is the Third Reich.

Posted by Peter October 22, 09 06:22 PM

Where are the pictures of addicts in the USA? We don't have to look to Afghanistan or Mexico to see violence and despair. Just go down to Boston Common on any given day at any time and see addicts shooting or smoking drugs completely out in the open. This photo essay is powerful, but it's also not quite honest and somewhat manipulative because the images it depicts are safe and easy targets. Far from home, more "pathetic" than us. Let's be honest about where a lot of those drugs that are being manufactured are ending up. Right here in our very own country. We have large appetites for everything, including (especially?) drugs.

Posted by kat October 22, 09 06:25 PM

No 16 pic is truely sad.
I can't believe that elders would do this to their young. It is one thing to see adults partaking in Drugs, but to knowingly influence children - who have no knowledge of the harm drugs can do or a voice in order to deny it is truely shocking.

I can't believe, that rather than buy food, they buy opium for their youngsters.

Posted by Me too October 22, 09 06:52 PM

These people are a bunch of zombie losers. The decision to use drugs is exactly that, a decision. Weak people taking the easy way out of life. These people walk around most every city in the world like zombies. They are not to be pitied but chastised and shewed away. I'm sure that 99% of them will never become anything more than the useless parasites that they are now and the death of any of them, while sad and tragic to a degree, makes the world a better place for most of us who remain. Legalize the drugs, all of them I say. Let these people kill themselves off more efficiently and save the rest of the world the hassle of providing for the zombies of our cities and towns.

Posted by Sick Tired October 22, 09 07:28 PM

Always the same in the west, i am from europe. there is not drugs dealers in usa, england. There is no grugs adicts in france, canada, ny. we create the problem and then we put it in other people.

Who thinks we are we stupid ? I am sure ther is mach more nive pictures taken in Usa, for example, or in uk. Wich are the countrys with more consumer?

Wich are the countrys those drugs are going?

Why they kill each other to bring us drugs?

Posted by Alice October 22, 09 07:57 PM

@ Erik "128" I suppose you're going for your doctorate also?
Or are you already working on your postdoc?

Idiot's an easy word to throw around.

Posted by Mike October 22, 09 08:19 PM

sometimes it makes me sad seeing so much murder in my city.......
thank you USA for being the number one buyer of our drugs and for giving power and money to the Mxican drug cartels. without your addiction these massacres could not exist.

Posted by Gustavo Adolfo Lopez Morales October 22, 09 09:36 PM

The picture that's missing above of the smoking area outside any hospital. There you will see people, three days status-post bypass surgery, enjoying that first post-op cig! And it's legal!

I do not know where this nation, the worlds number one supplier of nicotine, gets off telling dirt-poor Afghan or Laotian farmers not to grow opium poppies!

Disgraceful too is the extent to which this nation uses tobacco sales abroad to offset our embarrassing trade-deficit. China and India make computers; we grow tobacco. To which nation does the next century belong?

Posted by PaulQ October 22, 09 10:07 PM

Alcohol occurs naturally from fermentation of plants, there are a large number of halucinogenics found in the fungi family, there are peyote cactus and many others in the world that cause the mind and body to have differing altered states of mind. Some are good some are bad... Do we legalize them all? How do we choose which are to be subject to control for use and which to criminalization?

Use is abuse to one and abuse to one is merely use. I say step back, let the idiots use all they want; then shoot the stupid bastards that give drugs to children before they can make up their own minds about it. Allow nature to take it's course - survival of the fittest and smartest will winnow out the douche bags in every country.

If you're too weak or scared to defend yourself and your family, you have no business on this planet. Get OFF!

Posted by October 23, 09 01:31 AM

if drugs were legalized, we'd have wayyyyyyyyyyyy more drug addicts...
drugs would be perhaps a quarter of a price than these are now, then huge amount of people could affort the hit and the addiction is likely to become reality. some maybe strong to resist the temptation after the first hit, but maybe not that strong after the fifth hit. you get into denial phase: "no i'm not an addict, i'm fine"... but you're already hooked up...
in the other hand... when i see one drug-lab burning, i know its the result of a snitch and other drug-labs will have better days after one is down... so its quite hopeless fight in my mind. this is the war without positive results. people have found their way of extintion...

Posted by siil October 23, 09 03:07 AM

All drugs should be legal. Alcohol and nicotine are already. If someone wants to ruin his/her life with drugs then so be it. Better the government gets its share in the profit and can control the drugs before they got consumed. Just don't expect any health care if you do drugs.

Posted by Martin October 23, 09 03:21 AM

wow they really upped the violence in these..pic 5 and others

Posted by hamandbones October 23, 09 04:19 AM

Don't other countries have drug problem?????

why only Afghanistan and Mexico ???

Posted by AMG October 23, 09 04:58 AM

"Reasons to live and to remain healthy need to outweigh the desire to escape.
Drug abuse is a primarily symptom caused when greed and power are mixed with a lack of will by the hapless."

"Reasons to live and remain healthy"? So that you can continue to be a robot (in good working condition) in the hands of the multinationals? Sorry, but escape by whichever means a person has, is the only solution.

"Drug abuse is a primarily symptom caused when greed and power are mixed with a lack of will by the hapless."

^^ Just proves what I said above. Greed and power displayed by modern capitalism destroy lives. It is time to wake up!

Posted by Kyrkos Ekaterinaris October 23, 09 05:47 AM

Thanks to ME i'm out of this s***, all by myself, no rehab or anything else. (11 years ago) - 4 years of heroin addiction. (1994-1998)
Sad too see some images, but i know that is real, i feel pain for them.
I mean, i'm not saying that use (not abuse) of heavy drugs is totally wrong, but soon or later, they'll take control of you, it's like walking on a tight rope.
It's clearly a wrong way-of-life, no matter what said 'The Priest' Bill Burroughs, bulls*** .
"Bill, you know about my monkey?....

i stop to feed than i kill her..

i'm so happy now."


Posted by Salvo Lavita October 23, 09 08:37 AM

I'm thinking the reason there are mainly pictures from Mexico and Afghanistan is... that's where the photographers were when they took the pictures, DUH!... put down your crack pipes, rub your bloodshot eyes and try to let the fog lift from your brains... it's true, drugs make you paranoid!

Posted by MCHammer October 23, 09 09:03 AM

I think we can all agree that, if something stupid is going to happen, it will happen with or without drug influence. That said, let's look further into the problem to the fact that entire families are ruined, starving and being buried because of various drugs. Not just because the actual physical affects of the drugs, but because of the level of addiction being SO advanced that they will spend the only money they have to feed their families on the drugs they have addicted themselves to. THAT is the real problem! The drug war is not the problem. Only a user would think that.

Posted by Julia October 23, 09 09:48 AM

Consider that the world went along for thousands of years without a war against certain inebriating substances. Our "war" against said substances have hugely aided the purveyors in providing a price support system.

IMHO - The fundamental change that happened is that we became so wealthy that people have much more time on their hands and the basic necessities of life became so much easier to be had. Even the poorest people in the U.S. are given aid. As a side note - realize that some people are very happy with virtually no possessions and with someone else providing them, that leave time for those individuals spend time high on drugs.
Our problem is our collective wealth and the fact that we subsidize people who would in previous times, had to either be productive or die.

Posted by JacobX October 23, 09 09:57 AM

Dobrý fotky.))
Hned bych mìnil s tím mariòákem u tý plantáže marihuany:)))
Takovej veget..oblíbenej pes, sluníèko..hromada trávy a nic nedìlání:)))

Posted by Luboš October 23, 09 11:36 AM

After seeing these pictures I am left speechless. Starts with a hit of marijuana. Don't believe me? Visit a Narcotics Anonymous meeting sometime. I we are trying to legalize marijuana for medical reasons. Are you kidding?

Posted by Squeeky October 23, 09 12:24 PM

Although I fully support legalization for the myriad reasons any free thinking person can see, the governments objective is not to restore peace to society by winning or ending the war on drugs, it is to increase their control over the people. If they were to stop the "war on drugs" they would lose a very valuable tool for subjugation. The war on drugs enables looser search and seizure laws, property confiscation, massive incarceration and huge amounts of tax dollars siphoned off the middle classes to achieve this. Without the fear that the evils of drugs presents to the people, they have less of an ability to curtail freedoms. Ironically, the curtailment of freedom comes at the request of the people. With the war on drugs and the war on terror, government has actually found a way to keep their people repressed at their own request! It is a perfect weapon. Pick wars that have ethereal enemies. Wars you can never win. Wars in which progress is undefinable. Wars by which you can create fear and panic which leads the people to ask for more authoritarian responses from government. All these things add up to a police state through the cajoled will of the people! I fear for the lives of my children!

Posted by MM October 23, 09 12:33 PM

Where are the drug consuming party people?
UN World drug report - the title should be UN Heroin and Mexico drug problems...

Posted by iwouldrathernot October 23, 09 12:54 PM

It looks like DRUGS are winning the drug war.

Posted by Aaron Kinney October 23, 09 01:01 PM

legalize drugs, but support drug addicts
Posted by Bastian Fromherz October 21, 09 08:47 PM

Right on

Posted by Anonymous October 23, 09 01:43 PM

It's ironic that one of the most effective, clinically-proven treatments to break addicts' motivation to continue using is(was): psychedelics. This was shown in the 1950's and early 1960's, before psychedelics were promoted and abused by Timothy Leary et al.

Why do psychedelics succeed where so many other methods fail? Because the (professionally, medically supervised) "trip" helps give the user the insight regarding how badly they are hurting other people, as well as themselves. This is the genuine epiphany they need to completely break their motivation to use.

Even Bill W., who took a clinically-supervised trip, promoted supervised psychedelic techniques to help the worst alcoholics kick - but unfortunately, by then Leary and his followers had already poisoned the well, so the board of AA withdrew its support for Bill W.'s proposal.

Legalize drug use if you want, but complete education for potential users and viable economic alternatives for raw materials farmers also have to be part of the solution to this tragic reality.

Posted by Julie D. October 23, 09 01:43 PM

#188 siil said: "if drugs were legalized, we'd have wayyyyyyyyyyyy more drug addicts..."

I think you are probably mistaken, my friend. Take for example the Netherlands:

"In the Netherlands 9.7% of young adults (aged 15–24) consume soft drugs once a month, comparable to the level in Italy (10.9%) and Germany (9.9%) and less than in the UK (15.8%) and Spain (16.4%), but higher than in, for example, Sweden (3%), Finland or Greece. Dutch rates of drug use are lower than U.S. rates in every category. The monthly prevalence of drugs other than cannabis among young people (15-24) was 4% in 2004, that was above the average (3%) of 15 compared countries in EU. However, seemingly few transcend to becoming problem drug users (0.3%), well below the average (0.52%) of the same compared countries. The reported number of deaths linked to the use of drugs in the Netherlands, as a proportion of the entire population, is lower than the EU average. The Dutch government is able to support approximately 90% of help-seeking addicts with detoxification programs. Treatment demand is rising. Criminal investigations into more serious forms of organized crime mainly involve drugs (72%). Most of these are investigations of hard drug crime (specifically cocaine and synthetic drugs) although the number of soft drug cases is rising and currently accounts for 69% of criminal investigations." --Wikipedia

Availability of drugs IS NOT THE PROBLEM. Most high school students say that its easier for them to get marijuana than beer. By your logic, this means we should have schools and schools full of addicts -- BUT WE DON'T. Can you explain that?

The reason drugs have become an "epidemic" is because of things like the War on Drugs. Making it illegal raises the price, which creates underground markets and is very tempting to the poor underclass who see it as an easy (and glamorous) way to make large amounts of cash.

If we legalized it... its becomes commonplace, and safer,.. and less glamorous. The poor would no longer be tempted to do it (atleast for monetary reasons) .. so much of the gangs and violence would fade away.

Posted by Jason October 23, 09 04:07 PM

Its funny we spend billions and billions of dollars fighting a war you can not win. But we dont have the money to go after real criminals. There is like a ten year backlog of unopened rape kits in LA because they dont have the money or manpower to do them in a timely fashon.

Posted by Jeff October 23, 09 04:49 PM

Its funny a vast majority of abused drugs are naturally occurring yet are illegal. A vast majority of prescriptions drugs are man made synthetic versions of the illegal ones. LOL Marijuana bad. But go ahead and use this new pill called Sativex, which is nothing more that synthetic THC. Darvacet, Percacet, Morphine, These are all derivatives of opiates from the poppy plant. There is TOO MUCH MONEY to be made by keeping drugs illegal. We keep Judges Lawyers Cops Prisons Wardens etc etc in jobs by keeping them illegal. Do you know that the vast majority of Prisons in the US are run by PRIVATE companies. Why is that? Because of the HUGE money to be made by keeping people behind bars.

Posted by Jeff October 23, 09 05:03 PM

Marijuana is Great - not just as a 'Drug (medicine)' but for all it's industrial uses. Opium is fun - addicts are the problem not the drugs. People need to get control over their lives. "Traffic" said it best: 'Addicts take care of themselves.'

Posted by bucky October 23, 09 07:32 PM

Simple, let adults make adult decisions. Put laws in place that will ensure that those who cross the line will pay for their actions. Tax it, educate and regulate. Remember, where the head goes the ass will follow.
As for the gateway drug being marijuana, as heard in NA meetings, bet you that 100% of those who started with grass probably had smoked cigarettes and drank before hand. Both of those are as harmful as most hard drugs over time and take the same toll on both the user and their loved ones. Speaking from experience, I always found it easier to score a pack of smokes and a liter of booze then it was to get a bag of dope. Only difference is that fat cats are getting rich from killing thousands with nicotine and alcohol. Drugs will just take away from their pockets. I completely agree with Jason and his stats on the Netherlands.
And yes, the drugs are winning the war and has been on top since its inception back in the 80s. After all, it only became a war when it started to creep into white middle class neighborhoods.

Posted by sick and tired of sick tired October 23, 09 07:38 PM

@Doug October 22, 09 11:22 AM - You are a bad man. Lay off the sauce and try some pot, then you won't be so violent. While most will agree that the VIOLENT (violent is the keyword) offenders of the drug trade should be properly punished (and not their families, you righteous prick), drugs (especially those used as medicines for all of recorded history, like cannabis) are not to be compared to pedophiles and rapists. Apples are apples and a spade is a spade.

Posted by Allahu Akbar October 23, 09 07:41 PM

No. 145, a mister doug. Well Doug, looks like your little nephew timmy was caught selling some dimebags of reefer. I'm afraid you have to be executed now for being related to that little abomination. This is all thanks to you opening up the worlds eyes and helping them classify murderers and pedophiles and drug dealers all as equally evil. Help is beyond them, and help is beyond you. Now that everyone whose lives are somehow intermingled in the nefarious drug world is fair game to be executed, it will be a lot easier to police the world seeing how everyone is dead. Thank you doug for making me realize how awesome the war on drugs is, someday may we all live in world were the governments and all the laws they impose are perfect. non-conformity with the regime equals enemy, which equals death. All hail the coming of doug's new super fascism era!

Posted by mike racette October 23, 09 08:10 PM

I was using drugs for a long time, and have some great photos, unfortunately they wouldn't be useful here as they are of wasted 'white' people. The one gripe I have is about the complete dis/misinformation provided starting from an early age at school about drugs (what fallacies they explete) and continuing on after that in the media and politics. Question? everything!, and if you don't have the time or the inclination to do so at least teach the kids around you to do that, cops, laws, politicians, priests or what have you, will never be able to help as they are intrinsically opposite and unknowledgeable to this particular problem, which doesn't mean they are unwilling, it just means that their methods are not renderable, legalisation would at least make it visible and less stigmatised, though I doubt it will help. Politics have put money into the equation and there isn't much chance of turning back from that unfortunately, I suspect the real solution lies closer to home, lets hope we find it.

Posted by Solange October 23, 09 09:39 PM

What to do? I was very disturbed by the pictures seen! I am not sure of any answers to the widespread problems of drugs in the world, but I can say that since it involves literally the entire world, then the only solution can be the international community (the USA can't even contain its own problems with drug abuse).

Posted by Abram Antler October 23, 09 10:27 PM

Why just put pictures on third world?

Why not put pictures on drug addiction in the USA?

The misfortune that has fallen on the third world called drug trafficking is due to the millions of consumers in the USA.
If USA really would like to fight drug trafficking, had been completed long ago.

What Mexico needs to do is become a transit country for drugs and let her run around federal highways. Remove that problem, and only fight the local market. Only in the USA is so keen to combat drug traffickers.

The gallery is good, but there it is unbiased and distinctly American. You want to see the drug problem as if it were only the developing countries. You know that drug addiction in the first world and its economic power is the culprit.

Greetings from Mexico.

Posted by Rene October 24, 09 04:26 AM

Fu*king addicts causing so much trouble.

Posted by Hans October 24, 09 06:20 AM

Flowers, grown by peasants for their rich landlords.
Latex, sold by rich landlords to richer foreigners.
Drugs, transported over the globe and sold to peasants to ease their lives, and remove any money they may have saved.

Posted by bullsballs October 24, 09 08:37 AM

Its a shame we have to witness things like this, but obviously the war on drugs is helping massively. These are some powerful photographs!

Posted by Rachel O'Dell October 24, 09 11:45 AM

These photos of the drug culture are sobering... especially the violence..i.e, hanging and castration of a government official, the beheading, random murders, drug rehab, and even worse....sharing opium with a toddler.. tragic! I will say that the drug market needs to be controlled by ending prohibition... as the article states, "drug control started in Shanghai in 1909"...100 years thinking we can end it by fighting it is delusional.

Posted by Cynthia October 24, 09 01:01 PM

The only people who complain about drug eradication, seems to be the ones who are hopelessly addicted to them.

They see nothing wrong with getting stoned, committing slow suicide, inhaling toxic substances.

Their arguments are always the same... You die of something, you die one day, even cheeseburgers with grease kill you!

That may full well be true, but you do have to eat to live. Eating has a purpose. Drugs are not necessary to live, so they impose dangers upon you that are totally un-necessary.

Drugs do not hurt just the users, but the families, friends, & people around them. Have seen many broken up families as a result of this!

It is for the good of the drug users that these programs exist. I applaud the eradication efforts. The attitude of "You die one day" is just a straw man argument. Just because you can die of almost anything, does not mean run out there in front of a car & try to kill yourself faster!

I never did understand why drug users want to die faster?

Posted by Jason October 24, 09 01:45 PM

Governments with their "War on Drugs" enable this kind of violence by putting the power and money into the hands of illicit cartels around the world.

Legalizing all drugs worldwide will enable us to allow people more liberty, freedom, and over time abolish many of the problems portrayed in these photos.

Don't believe me? Look at the examples set by the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Mexico (very recently legalizing small quantities of drugs), and more.

Putting an end to this madness needs people and their governments to be open-minded enough to legalize all drugs and regulate them and allow adults to make their own decision for their bodies.

Posted by Real Solutions October 24, 09 02:08 PM

anyone notice that real problems with drugs started after illegalization. It's so obvious yet no one ever suggest being intelligent about drugs instead of being reactionary.

Posted by Anonymous October 24, 09 02:47 PM

A better way for governments to fight the drug war is to provide descent paying jobs and a good education. A lot of people who do drugs are those whose lives have so little hope. Cannabis is not a dangerous drug for most people. It is more of a medicine. About the same as caffein.

Posted by Paul October 24, 09 03:19 PM

"that has got to be the dumbest thing I ever heard. What about legalizing murder and pedophilia because they too have been around forever, and people will always kill and harm children anyway."

Doug the difference between drug use (including alcohol) and murder, pedophilia or robbery etc. is that the sale of drugs is consensual and the imbibing is an individual act the affects no one but the user. There is no theft of property or bodily harm inflicted by one individual on another. It is only a crime because some people decided that they don't like other people partaking of a particular activity or substance. The greatest harm comes when the nanny staters and busy bodies decide to use the force of law to enforce their morality on others.

Posted by mt October 24, 09 03:57 PM

Quote by Ella "Come talk to me and my addicted adolescent...addicted to marijuana. Yes, addicted to marijuana. And yes marijuana is a gateway drug because it puts the person's guard down and allows impulsivity (sp?) to call the a little pot and then a few pills and on it can escalate. People like you don't read medical literature, must have skipped any "addict genes" in your family (and are d*mn lucky for it), and have probably never set foot into a rehab center or a recovery high school. God, people like you are such uniformed fools. Good luck with that Phd...I can see you won't be working with addicts or doing social work."

Ella, there hasn't been a single case in the history of this planet that anyone has actually been addicted to marijuana. You're son isn't addicted to marijuana, there's obviously other problems with him if he smokes so much pot. I know people who smoke a lot of pot, but they aren't addicted. they just really like it. I like orange juice and drink it a lot everyday, but that doesn't mean I'm addicted does it? If they cant get any, they dont smoke any. They don't go through withdrawal. There is no marijuana withdrawal. if there is no withdrawal, there is no addiction. Also, if you've ever smoked pot, you'd know that it doesn't make anyone impulsive. It doesnt make you want to do other drugs, not a gateway drug. the choice to do other drugs is the person who does it. you cant blame pot for people being curious about what else there is out there. if your son is doing pills, you need to be a smart parent and make sure he understands that pot is OKAY because it's completely natural and non habit forming, while pills are NOT natural and completely habit forming. maybe then you'll realize that it isnt the pot thats making him want to do other drugs, it's his adolescent curiousity that EVERYONE has. in conclusion, everything you said is wrong and YOU are indeed an uninformed fool.

Posted by Dale October 24, 09 04:37 PM

It all "starts with a hit of marijuana" someone said...?

What proportion of marijuana users started with a drink of alcohol or tobacco?

Most of them, undoubtedly.

No-one talks about alcohol or tobacco as 'gateway' drugs.


The illegality of drugs contributes hugely to the damage they cause.

The pictures merely portray what a futile and unnecessary battle the 'war on drugs' really is.

Posted by Nick Harrison October 24, 09 05:43 PM

what i really couldnot take in were those pictures of the whole family destroyed that way,especially of the grandfather offering to the little boy,how can they even do such things,they don't even look like they are humans,we have been given a soul by God,it is His Divine Breath into us that makes us rise above brute animals and others,this body is a trust that God has given us,it doesnot belong to us,it is wrong to suicide,it is an act of cowardice and not one of bravery,it is wrong to do anything that harms our body and we would be questioned about it on the Day of Judgement.what these people seem to be doing seems to be because of their extreme poverty and ignorance,they don't even have a life,now what has the us done after these many years in Afghan soil,Taliban is still active,anyway i was glad to see about the rehabilitation and i pray that more people would be able to lead their lives like men.

Posted by stop the drugs October 24, 09 05:50 PM

"World wide" photos and since there isn´t any picture of the United States i guess.

Posted by Marcus October 24, 09 07:02 PM

I'm 50 I've been addiction free for THREE years.I Trying to turn my wasted years into something productive.I attend a community College,and will transfer next fall to a university.I am able to fight addiction my own way,...To provide tools of recovery to others...I have seen 1st hand how a person is controlled by abuse ..I now control my life .I am a frontline soldier on the "War On Drugs" .Does that make me a Jack Ass. I have my own respect.Grow Up world,The 60's are over.

Posted by Mr Wilson October 24, 09 08:03 PM

-- comment removed --

Posted by Anonymous October 25, 09 04:11 AM

Very limited overview of what the whole problem of drugs is about. It is not only about the dealers or the overwhelming violence of the gangs or the poor conditions of the heroin addict.
The other half of the problem, namely the demand, is by far not touched. The shipments must go somewhere where they are really valuable. These places are really not shown in the pictures. Where are the consumers in New York, Berlin, London or Boston? and i don't mean the junkies downtown but the "social" or mild consumers. Those belong also to the chain of events that you want to depict. In my opinion they also play an important role in keeping drug traffic going on.

Posted by bonni October 25, 09 08:11 AM

Iam really shocked by the pics #16 and #17. what do the authorities do about it? I hope some action is taken for the welfare of the young children.

Posted by concerned October 25, 09 10:17 AM

to Mr Wilson
so glad to hear stories of people like you who have been saved from the clutches of that evil,having gone through the experience must be able to understand the plight of the addicts in a better way,drugs are things that people sort to escape from their worries,they feel temporary relief,which is only an imaginary one,it is an act of cowardice and not so 'cool' as they say,it is a trap of the evil one to take man from remembrance of God and to distract him from what is actually important.the traps of the devil are"like a mirage which the thirsty one takes for water,when he reaches there,he would find noone,but God would have taken into account his deeds"and then everything would be lost,as God says in the the west,people seem to be resorting to it to take them away from desparation,in the east,people do this as a result of poverty and ignorance,relieved to know there are people like you who help those in need,keep up the good work,may God be with you.

Posted by a wellwisher October 25, 09 11:04 AM

Wow. Stunning. Reality is just amazing. Humanity at it's finest, most basic, raw moments. The horror. The horror...

Posted by Tyler October 25, 09 11:32 AM

For those interested: you should watch the movie "Traffic". It's about the war against drugs. Very, very good movie. Very impressive collection of pictures here, not to forget.

Posted by Bob October 25, 09 12:44 PM

For all those Carry Nation types advocating Nanny State prohibition to protect people from themselves I ask two questions:

The US Constitution is not amended easily, so why is it that the 21st amendment was adopted? What was obvious to people over 80 years ago that is not obvious to you now?

Posted by Steve October 25, 09 12:46 PM

Let me just say this about that. What they arent saying is how much opium growing INCREASED under dubya and dick!. While Im not into the hard stuff, I think that people should be able to put anything into their bodies that they want to. They do anyway whether it be legal/illegal to get it anyway. The war on drugs is lost, it has been since it was first initiated. Let people do what they want. If they legalized this the war would be over and sadly (not at ALL) all those loser DEA agents would be out of jobs and they could catch child molesters,rapists and all the other vermin in this country. If they just legalized marijuna in CA it would remove a big chunk of crime at our border. Make them pay to bring their crops to our country and states. The only crime is the people that make this the way it is and that would be the DEA. EOM.

Posted by FreemerryJane October 25, 09 02:54 PM

167: Most sensible comment...Spend 1% of the money used for prohibition on education and use the other 99% on real policing work. Decriminalise all drugs and make sure "addiction" is not stigmatised but people with problems are helped. Have a look at what Iceland does for alcoholism...seems to work pretty well for them. cheers

Posted by riff rawhiti October 25, 09 04:16 PM

It is time to legalize drugs and take the profit out of the criminal element. The answer in my opinion is education and quality control so we do not reap the destruction resulting from unsanitary conditions of consumption. Nicotine / Tobacco is on the way out due to education and allowing the people to make an educated free choice. People will do the same thing once they are educated to the negatives of drug addiction and consumption. The war on drugs does not work. We witnessed the failure of alcohol prohibition. We need to learn from our mistakes. Drugs have been around since the beginning of time. Humans are still here.

Posted by Philip Pugsley October 25, 09 05:33 PM

i smoked pot for many,many years ( used to buy pounds for personal use) and smoked crack for several years (also bought 10,000 speed pills at a time and ounces of cocaine for personal use).
i had a good job and did it well,when the company i worked at downsized and i lost the job i had no problem stopping doing the drugs.
i found i couldn't get another job without drug testing so i never went back.
i'm now doing as well as i ever did ,without the drugs, only now i spend my money on posessions (never was able to save money).
the last time i tried pot (many years ago) all i got was paranoid ,so i decided to just stop doing it.( i do dream about the crack sometimes)
by the way i drank a case of beer daily and it almost cost me my family ,i made the right decision and kept what really mattered.( i now MAYBE drink 2-4 beers a month)
i smoked cigatettes for more than 40 years and only quit because i got pnumonia and i couldn't breathe anyway, the main reason i quit was because of the price hitting $5.00 a pack, i really liked to smoke and would still be doing it if it was cheaper,( i now PUFF on a small cigar about every 3 months because i miss the taste, and i still cough stuff out of my lungs everyday) either way ,I QUIT IT ALL EASILY,it was a conscious decision driven by circumstances beyond my control.
"THEY" say there is a addictive gene in my family and i should be still going like i was (QUACKS)
if i REALLY wanted to still be doing those things i would be and nothing would stop me .
i do believe pot should be decriminalized and taxed the hell out of like cigarettes,,imagine the revinue for our states and cities if that happened, and all other drugs be available by prescription (meaning regulated).
all addicts got where they are by personal decisions,i can't believe someone was standing there with a gun to their head MAKING them do their drug of choice

Posted by quit cold turkey October 25, 09 05:50 PM

To Doug (who suggested murdering drug dealers and their families as a cure for drug addiction),

Try reading the work of Dr. Siegal. Humans have an innate desire to alter their consciousness.

The difference between drug use and pedophilia or murder is that there is NO victim in the 'crime' of drug use.

If you want to kill the families of people convicted of crimes, maybe you should leave civilized countries and go live in the bronze age. That sort of barbaric ignorance has no place in the world today.

Posted by Mitchell October 25, 09 10:42 PM

holy sh*t !

Posted by PA October 26, 09 01:31 PM

to the guy that thinks all dealers should be shot, does that apply to pharmaceutical reps and executives? to the guy that thinks if drugs are legalized, they will be government made and weaker, why is that? it would be in the governments best interest to provide the purest, least adulterated drugs possible.
of course, if drugs are legalized, there will still be pictures of addicts. there won't be pictures of severed heads and people hanging from bridges, however. and that is the difference. prohibition has led to an increase of drug use due to profitability. dealers wanting to make money, if they make you addicted, more money for them. legalize and regulate. give addicts help in a treatment facility. prison will not make addicts better.

Posted by tom October 26, 09 02:19 PM

I believe the state and federal governments are the biggest, single, indirect buyer of narcotics via various assistance programs to individuals. Hence freeing up income for drug use that would otherwise necessarily be spent on genuine, basic needs. Just as assistance frees up income for uses other than basic needs. For instance who hasn't been behind someone in the grocery store who pays for their groceries with a government issued credit card (that's what our state uses) then pays for their alcohol and cigarettes with cash while talking on their cell phone and then walks out to the lexus? Often they also seem to have plenty of money for tattoos.

Posted by Larry in Texas October 26, 09 02:51 PM

my great uncle was a police officer in mexico. he wouldnt bend to the local drug dealers rules. they came to his home and killed him. yes the forefathers of america both grew and smoked copious amounts of pot. that doesnt mean it should be legalized. they didnt have access to the drugs that are available today. drugs cause crime. they cause murder. they ruin lives. what would be accomplished by legalizing them? nothing. more dope would be smoked. more people would smoke it. more people would be killed.

Posted by southern born and bred October 26, 09 02:58 PM

@ "quit cold turkey" Marijuana and Cocaine have yet to be proven to be physically addictive. However, they can still be psychologically addictive, along with just about anything else you can do on a frequent basis, including drinking alcohol to sex to playing video games. However, I still completely disagree with the comments advocating legalization of all drugs. I have been unfortunately been homeless before and have witnessed how rampant drug use can ruin lives. Drugs like meth and heroin are extremely addictive and even after only a few uses can start to gain a foothold in your mind. Legalization is not the answer.

Posted by Anonymous October 26, 09 06:07 PM

The images are jarring as usual. They manage to titillate, shock and educate simultaneously.

I didn't have the courage (or the stomach) to look at the blacked-out images except for the one with the blood spatter on the wall. Although some may need this type of no-holds-barred representation to grasp the violence and horror of the drug trade, I think #20(yellow truck with bullet hole and dripping blood) speaks more than a severed head. (Of course I can only imagine because I couldn't look!)

I don't know how the photographers can face such scenes and come out emotionally intact. I could not.

Posted by Chloe October 26, 09 07:56 PM

This is horrible, so many crimes and so many people suffering because of the drugs. However I live in Monterrey, Mexico (was born here 25 years ago and have lived here all my life) and I have never seen any drug crime or dead people in the streets like this pictures show but this things happens in some comunities and are very aislated cases. Its not like the narcs are killing people in the streets randomly.

However this images are great but sad.

Posted by Anonimox October 26, 09 08:54 PM

Absolutely horrific.

Posted by R October 26, 09 10:19 PM

I am from Venezuela and the government from Hugo Chavez dont even allow the newspapers to show these pictures.

Posted by Anonymus October 27, 09 01:59 AM

Photo #16 is probably the worst of all.
"Grandpa and Grandchild smoking dope"

That's the source of the problem: the culture of smoking opium as if it were a friendly cup of coffee.
Now what does legalization have to do with this?

Posted by PA October 27, 09 07:32 AM

@246: technically speaking this is not "because of the drugs". How could it be? However, it would be on the mark to say that this is a direct consequence of the drug laws. There is no cosmic rule saying that these drugs can't be sold legally, when in fact they have been sold as such years ago and the drug alcohol is also sold legally most places.

Just as the USA experienced from 1920-1933 during their Alcohol Prohibition violence, death and destruction follow in the wake oif unjust drug laws that ignore the economic incentives that always result in black markets under criminal control.

We should consider taking the power back, put the products back on the shelf and off the streets. We would get much better control over them and eliminate these war-like conditions.

Are you - or anybody else - really willing to take a bullet, or have your kids do the same, just because SOMEONE (oh, you know who you are) is hell-bent on stopping some other, peaceful guy from smoking a joint?

We need a legal, regulated market under public control. We need to "legalize" so to speak. We have to - for the children!

Posted by Jesper Kristensen October 27, 09 07:56 AM

Our war on drugs directly supports drug cartels, gangs, and the subsequent murder of thousands. Making addicts criminals is also a crime, they need help, not another reason to hide. When alcohol was illegal, gangs also took advantage and killed many and so it was again made legal.

While I don't like the idea of government regulated heroin and cocaine, I MUCH prefer it to the sometimes tainted and deadly drugs off the streets that often come at the expense of someones LIFE.

Keeping drugs illegal is out and out MURDER.

Posted by Anonymous October 27, 09 10:35 AM

In developed countries people use/sell drugs just for the fun of it. In countries like Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Afghanistan, and on, people use/sell drugs as a way of surviving.
And if the cartels or drug dealers cannot make money selling drugs, they will kidnap, kill, steal and rob all as they have always done, because they need MONEY and its THAT hard to make MONEY honestly in these countries.
If you legalize drugs by here, bandits will have another criminal way of get your money, so do not justify YOUR ADDICTION to OUR DISGRACE, rich ones.

Posted by Carlos October 27, 09 11:31 AM

Some of you know nothing about drugs, drug use, addiction or legalization of drugs. Why must people spew ignorance about things they know nothing about?

People already use drugs. Drugs being illegal doesn't discourage use. Thus, make drugs legal. You will take away the black market, purity issues, massive prison overcrowding a plethora of other societal ills caused by this foolish war on drugs, even though it is an innate want to alter our consciousness as human beings. It is not your duty to impose your views on drug users. If someone wants to smoke crack, let them, it doesn't effect you.

It's not a war on drugs, it's a war on your personal innate freedoms, always remember that.

Posted by nate October 27, 09 12:34 PM

In the words of Ben Elton, Legalize the Lot!. A harminimisation approach to drugs is the only way we can move forward. Take the legal heroin supplied to patients in Switzerland since 1994, the heroin program was brought about in response to the public gatherings of drug users in public places such as the famous Needle Park in the 1980s and 1990s. It has been credited with reducing crime and improving the health and daily lives of addicts.
More than 1000 users, who have tried and failed extensive detox programs, visit one of the centers twice a day to receive a medically prescribed dose of heroin under the supervision of a nurse or Doctor Patients also receive counseling from psychiatrists and social workers.
When I look at the illegal production of Opium in Afghanistan and hear stories about farmers having very few options of growing crops with a similar value, I often think about the legal production of Opium in countries like India, Australia, UK, France and Turkey for medical use. With countless numbers of Pharmaceutical companies involved in refining opium for Medical use surely the International Narcotics Control Board could come to an agreement with the Afghan government as to the purchase of this product, as is the case in India where farmers receive almost US$30 per kilo, depending on the quality and quantity tendered. India is no longer one of the leading illegal suppliers of Opiates thanks to this controlled acquirement. With bordering countries to Afghanistan (Iran &Tadjikistan/Russia) also feeling the squeeze related to the smuggling game and an increase in local consumption of opiates, does it not make sense to take the trade out of the hands of illegal traders and gain some control through the legal outlets.
As for weed, in my opinion decriminalize it. Save the time and money wasted on the prosecution of pot smokers and focus further on the big fish.
We all have a choice, sometimes we make the wrong decision, and for whatever reason end up deeper than we first expected, users of drugs often understand the lifestyle that goes with it, we are not blind to the ugly side of drugs yet we continue to use and sometimes abuse, let us just remember that we are all from the same family and those sinking deeper often need options and help rather than criticism and judgment, drug addiction is a medical issue and should be treated as a medical issue not a war

Posted by Ketama October 27, 09 02:49 PM

violent men run the drug cartels now and would still be involved after legislation legitimizes their business. do you think anyone reckless enough to kill a government official and hang them from a public bridge would cease his "competitive" practices. you only remove an avenue of prosecution which aids in removing sociopaths from the general populace. and yes they do get arrested on ocassion.

the drug business is where the madoff's and enron types who have violent personalities do their crimes...

Posted by skeptic October 27, 09 05:17 PM

The level of ignorance/apathy towards drugs in these comments is absolutely astounding. A lot of you people need to get out from under your rocks and understand that while YOU might not like, use, or want "drugs" you should research them for yourselves and not just spout off what the government and D.A.R.E. has taught you to believe.

If you think that when/if decriminalization or, god forbid, legalization happens that we will see an increase in drug addiction you are wrong. Look at Amsterdam, since they put in their drug legislation they've seen drug use go DOWN across the board.

The powers that be in this world continue to tell us that drug prohibition is "for the kids"... They've put the drugs on the black market where there are no rules, there are no regulations, and there's no age limit; only money counts. What this effectively does is make drugs the easiest thing for little Timmy to get with his money. You know that a rapist does less time then a nonviolent weed smoker with a few ounces of weed? Does that make sense to you? It shouldn't.

Posted by John October 27, 09 11:51 PM

Prohibiting drugs has been tried by many societies over the course of history. Coffee was made illegal in the Ottoman Empire for example. The USA made alcohol illegal in the 1920s. History will attest to the fact that such laws never work, and are instrumental in corrupting and destroying the societies from within. Drug addiction is a medical problem and should not be made a crime. Making drug sale illegal is merely a good way of providing enterprising sociopaths with an easy way to make more money than you do. No society can survive this sort of ill-considered legislation for very long without becoming utterly riddled with criminal syndicates and placing it in danger of civil unrest. If people want drugs, they will get them, and they won't care how many law enforcement officials have to be paid off to see their supply gets through.

Posted by Fred October 28, 09 04:27 AM

I can see the legalisation and/or regulation of marijuana working, and doubtless the tax benefits would be of incredible value (providing they were properly and efficiently spent, and that's a topic for another day!).

What I can't see working is the regulation of harder drugs like cocaine and crystal meth. I just don't buy that bringing distribution of these drugs under state control could be of positive advantage. These are, after all, the drugs that carry serious risk not just to the user but also to the general public. Anyone remember the video from a few months back of the meth user driving down the street screaming obscenities and firing a .357 randomly out of the window?

As comment 255 points out, I really can't imagine the Colombian drug cartels packing up shop, realising the errors of their ways and getting a 9 to 5 job in the city. These people are pre-disposed to sociopathy and are only going to concentrate their efforts in the next available arena of ill-gotten gain.

The truth is that drugs exist, and so long as they do there will be pain, suffering and despair among many, enjoyment and enlightenment among a select, responsible few. Let's not forget that any of us who have ever smoked or drank alcohol are drug users, even if societal conscience has made those acceptable for some reason. We simply cannot and will not "win" this nebulous conflict because it's inherent in our genetic makeup to seek pleasure in all it's forms, and nobody would want to live in a world without pleasure, even if it were free from the chaos caused by drug addiction.

Posted by Craig Eastman October 28, 09 08:36 AM

Marijuana is to heroin as jaywalking is to arson...

Posted by pk October 28, 09 01:03 PM

Lets set it clear. All south and central american drugs are just trying to reach the big and juicy market, the United States. Where are the U.S. photographs? Show us the CBP officer letting the drugs to pass. Show us the policeman charging to allow the dealer to sell the drugs. Show us the millions of drug users who will need it everyday, the drug dealer asking for more, the distributor placing his order to the mexican cartel and then to the Colombians. Do not blame Mexico, Central and South America only... what about the United States?

Posted by The Mexican October 28, 09 01:50 PM

End Drug Prohibition.

The Billions of Dollars that is spent to eradicate something that cannot be eradicated is ludicrous. If we spent that much on honest drug education(no more lies), addiction treatment programs (no more incarceration except for violent crimes and people that cause harm to others) and purity control (make cocaine and heroin free of toxic chemicals left as by product or to cut and marijuana free of pesticides) then we could have manageable levels of drug use and addiction, and wouldn't be empowering drug lords and shipping so much money overseas to serve those that may wish us harm for all the years we've been tyrannical to them.

The money saved from not having foreign eradication programs, diplomatic costs for foreign access, military operations, foreign policing, domestic policing, (at all levels) judicial action, jailing (outsourced jailing), parolling, welfare, unemployment, health care and the bureaucracies to run these, could give all Americans a tax break.

The tax burden could be further lightened by taxing the aforementioned products, (Marijuana, cocaine and heroin) and the companies that manufacture and distribute them, and then taxing the employees of these newly created jobs in these new thriving industries. Much like the Tobacco and Alcohol model

The population that is diverted from prison can remain a viable part of the workforce without a drug conviction preventing them from ever working again, and further drawing off of public support.

Reduction of Costs and Increasing Revenue are a model that can pay off deficits, (Federal, State and Local) and pay for new programs like Single Payer Health Care, Wellness Programs, and Better Education for the generations that almost had to pay for our foolishness.

So what is the argument FOR the War on Drugs again?

Posted by DidITweetThat October 28, 09 07:42 PM

Seems like it's about time for another massive disaster, like the big flood in Noah's time, or a massive fire/earthquake, more famine than we already have, and time for biological weapons...all of these things to wipe we humans off the face of the globe and start over. Maybe 2012 will bring another spiritual leader, like a Jesus Christ, or a Buddah, or some cataclysm to put us back on the path. We've veered off way too far and it's time for spirit to put us back. If not now, when? We are so out of touch with humanity and goodness it will take something deeply spiritual to put us back on track.

Posted by Barbara Benom October 28, 09 10:35 PM

How can there not be pictures of thousands and thousands addicts in the US?? #1 worlwide consumer, please be more objective as addiction is also a big issue in your country.

Posted by Anonymous October 29, 09 05:43 PM

Prohibition... goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes... A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.
--- Abraham Lincoln
December 8, 1840

Posted by Philip Pugsley October 29, 09 06:12 PM

why does this report only show latinos and afganos drug issues? It should also show United States drug problems, they are one of the bigest consumers

Posted by lina October 29, 09 07:15 PM

The true criminals are those in the US DEA, and the crooked legislators who are Hell-Bent on taking away a mans Free Will and making him a criminal for something that is not a crime.

The current War on Drugs is the root of all this Evil, and there would be virtually no violence if recreational drug use was legalized.

All this blood is on the Politicians in Washington's hands, may God have mercy on their dark souls.

Posted by David October 29, 09 07:18 PM

Lots of people here seem to think that The Criminals & Cartels are static, unchanging things and that they'd just start committing other crimes. Try to analyze this a bit further, if you will.

Drugs are a commodity like none other. It's in high demand, it's extremely small, concentrated and fetches an extremely high price for just one tiny, itsy bitsy gram of the stuff. Nothing compares to this in terms of ease, profit and lack of risk.

Furhermore drugs are bought and sold between concensual business partners. Sell someone an ounce of the green stuff and the person will thank you, and you'll thank him for coming into your office (that happens to be located on some street corner).

If anything this lucrative base provides a recruiting ground for young people, it feeds millions into criminal business and finances the guns, cars, and other infrastructure. As you know the Al Queda uses heroin and hash money to finance the very real and evil terrorism they perpetrate.I firmly believe that the drug money finance the entire infrastructure needed to commit other crimes.

Take that money away from them and they'll have a much harder time even getting to the other crimes, and they won't be able to recruit people as easily to a life of crime

Posted by Jesper Kristensen October 30, 09 06:05 AM

sad and shocking

Posted by Sree October 30, 09 08:13 AM

The drug laws "Harrison Act" were created as a way to deal with undesirables etc, Blacks, Mexicans and Chinese. Whites continued
to feed thier monkeys patent meds that contained opium, heroin and
cocain. You could buy it though the Sears catolog. Movies like " Reefer
Madness " was the propaganda the Gov, used to light the fire. We don't
those kind of people raping our white women! The War on Drugs is
akin to killing off kudzu in Miss. Why do you think we have receptors
for these subsances in or brains as do animals.

Posted by DeLaHay November 1, 09 08:07 AM

Time to legalise and legislate drugs.

Posted by james November 2, 09 03:57 AM

Prohibition... goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes... A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.
--- Abraham Lincoln
December 8, 1840........let me first start by saying that I have never been a drug user that includes alcohol and tobacco so anyone wishing to rebuttal my point i just took away half your pathetic argument :). second lets look at those who do oppose legalization, if you don't see an issue with alcohol and tobacco being legal your a tremendous hypocrite. third please stop with the lies im tired of hearing that cannabis is a gateway drug when there has been medical and scientific studies that have proven otherwise, if you oppose it at least base your argument around things that are true. fourth realize that the American WAR ON DRUGS has nothing to do with keeping the American people safe, why was the cia bringing in cocaine for daneilo blandone during the panama conflict? , the war on drugs in america is about one thing making money, why does the majority of the war on drugs funding go towards local policing to put dealers in jail instead of taking on major distributors, i suggest some of you come down of your high horse and do your homework

Posted by scott jackson November 2, 09 12:04 PM

The majority of drugs that are coming into the U.S. are from mexico cuba and Afghanistan, maybe if the patrol on the coasts are stronger, we wouldnt have all these imports coming into our country. The government spends a shit load of money on the "war of drugs" how about we try to protect our boarders more strictly. In all honesty who care what those low lifes do in their countries, they can worry about themselves. Also no wonder why we are in debt, it ovb has to do with us spending all this money for the war. See in my point of view, weed is natural and nothing has to be done to it, but coke, herion and all that nonsense has dangerous cemicals added. stop those drugs but leave the weed.

Posted by ss November 2, 09 01:16 PM

God truely is great

oh wait. Is this the wrong thread?

Posted by Mark November 2, 09 01:24 PM

I'm astonished that there are no pictures from San Francisco ... where drug use is common and accepted. Pelosi's neighbors are not "fighting a war on drugs" -- they have already conceded. It's only a matter of time until California looks like Kabul.

Posted by LaurainNevada November 2, 09 03:29 PM

Don't believe in Reefer Madness propaganda and do not be (as you still most likely are) ignorant to the fact that marijuana is a clean substance (like penicillin, look it up), has NEVER caused cancer (reports show heavy pot smokers are actually LESS likely to get cancer than nonsmokers), and treats an overwhelming amount of illnesses and symptoms from chronic pain to insomnia, has been medically and scientifically proven that no brain damage or loss of white matter intensity is caused by marijuana, no matter how much is consumed; in 5000 years of recorded history, nobody has ever overdosed, as it is physically impossible. Also, marijuana does not cause people to be lazy (proven). Yes, there are lazy people who smoke pot, just as there are lazy people who play lots of video games or eat a lot of food. Anyway, you keep using god and religion in your argument, but the bottom line is that we cannot legislate morality, as that was the intention upon the forming of this country.

P.S.: Everything I've said in this has been proven, and if you want to check for yourself before you reply and speak blindly of the topic, check out

Posted by seth November 2, 09 09:08 PM

the saddest thing about the war on drugs is that they government has used the fear mongering to pass laws that violate our rights under the constitution, although the "patriot" act came out of the wake of 911, its funny because it seems the government doesn't study history. if memory serves me correctly didn't the prohibition just create strong organized crime networks that the government couldn't do any damage to until the late 80's. government bailouts, ear marks, violation of privacy and freedom, hypocrisy by those in power, does any of these points run any parallels to the American revolution? but hey what do i know im just a university grad who works a min wage job because we outsourced so many jobs for decades for higher profits. im so proud to be an American......

Posted by scott jackson November 3, 09 10:00 AM

I would legalize all drugs in US (except the chemical formulas like ecstasy) Disband the DEA. Results? No demand no crime. No money for Taliban...I could go on and on. The billions that go every year to DEA should be used for prevention and education. If someone wants to get high he/she would have to be registered thus authorities could have some control on rehabilitation.
The problem is that no politician in US have the balls to even mention such a measure.
Oh well, the loosing "War on Drugs" will go forever.
By the way, for the record I'm not user at all. I don't even drink.
Alcohol which is legal results in thousands of deaths every year in car accidents, plus not to mention the fact of battered spouses, kids and brawls.
America is blind and politicians have no guts to face the truth.

Posted by Peter Bullert November 3, 09 08:36 PM

Peter Bullert, why would you legalise all drugs except ecstasy (MDMA) ? That makes no sense what so ever. As far as harm to society and the user goes, ecstasy recently featured behind nearly ALL of the other drugs, both legal and otherwise. The only reason ecstasy can be harmful is due to its illegality, criminals substitute MDMA for other dangerous substances like methamphetamine. I would make drugs that do not promote violence or addiction regulated and taxed the way alcohol is. Drugs with a high possiblity for addiction would be prescription only, with the view that prescriptions should be tapered down to remove addiction.

Posted by Jimson Wilson November 4, 09 03:42 AM

Sadly not to be confuse as an addict... drugs had been since the beginig of man kind, so who ever thinks or wonders if we ever going to win this war, i am deeply sorry to tell you that we are not going to win this war!, i guess is a fact, is a full pledge market, and as long as there is demand some1 is got to supply it!, i was thinking as opend minded as i could get, but legalize it, do the same darn thing as the government did with alcohol, think about it go back to the 1920s.... check your history how many blood baths there were when alcohol became illegal, still every body was using them! even city mayors, or high profile people. ill garante it would save lives, maybe not the addicts unless they get to rehab, and dont be so quick to judge my words, but legal or not, the would be always drug users!

Posted by Diego F Rendon November 4, 09 06:37 AM

Why only pics of Afganistán and México?
I went last october to a festival in Austin and everyone but my friends were smokin pot. We are from México and we were shocked because the easy way to carry out and make your cig in front of everybody in the festival!!!
If my country has the gangs problem is because of US addicts that sponsor them.

Posted by Betty Sifuentes November 6, 09 03:46 PM

If we all agree that prohibition caused organized crime back in the early part of the 20th century, why would anyone think that keeping drugs illegal now doesn't do the same? It's not the drugs that causes the murders, it's the money. Drug use will never be stopped by punishment; human beings are born risk-takers. You can reduce the impact of addicts on the rest of society, by removing the criminality of their using. In my mind, it is a contradiction to keep opium and pot illegal while tobacco and alcohol are legal and promoted.

Posted by Anne November 7, 09 11:46 PM

The _Prohibition_ of drugs harms far more lives than the drugs themselves. The governments know this - but the war on drugs provides a useful scapegoat for them to divert attention away from their own continual grasping for power and money at the expense of your freedom.

Posted by Just some guy November 8, 09 05:20 AM

before the big drug war started because of predjudice against any non white people caused everyones addictions to be illegal. before there were drugs in every over the counter drug store had all these illegal drugs and never a problem. its like any other addiction and its caused by govt mind control and psychological fear put into everyone. ive smoked pot since the 60s and have had pure coke from colombia where there are no side effects and anyone can stop anytime they want. smoked the opium in laos and it wasnt as strong as my vicodans which are prescribed by doctors. if u want to see a real addiction go to a casino. we all have addictions of some kind and the legal drugs like alcohol and pills and tobacco are more lethal. at 56 years old i am still healthy slim and muscular and in perfect shape. no tobacco and small amounts of alcohol occasionally. and pot everyday for awhile then none for awhile. all these drugs should be legalized and taxed by govts that need money for their bankrupt countries. if u want to quit and have any addiction problem go to an aa or na or gamblers anonymous or overeaters anonymous or overspenders anonymous debtors anonymous emotional anonymous etc etc etc.

Posted by alan van cleave November 8, 09 05:46 AM

Merci le gouvernement Canadien pour le libre-échange avec le Mexique!
Tanks Canada government for free-exchange with Mexicans!

Posted by Un vrai Canadien November 8, 09 07:20 PM

God help us all.

Posted by eliza m November 9, 09 05:45 AM

#188 "people have found their way of extinction.."

It's not always a bad thing. We don't have a natural predator so we might as well kill ourselves :)

Awesome photos btw. I would never have thought Afghanistan and Pakistan were that big on drugs...

Posted by arnz November 9, 09 06:17 AM

Jason said:
"The only people who complain about drug eradication, seems to be the ones who are hopelessly addicted to them.
They see nothing wrong with getting stoned, committing slow suicide, inhaling toxic substances.
Their arguments are always the same... You die of something, you die one day, even cheeseburgers with grease kill you!
That may full well be true, but you do have to eat to live. Eating has a purpose. Drugs are not necessary to live, so they impose dangers upon you that are totally un-necessary."

Well, jason, how about this: in nazi germany, the only people who complained about book burnings were the people who liked those books. And reading isn't necessary to stay alive anyway, so what's the problem?

How about religion? That isn't necessary to stay alive either. How many people have been hurt and killed because of religion? Why don't we just make it illegal too? Chairman Mao called religion "the opiate of the masses" and made it illegal.

But WE WANT FREEDOM. Freedom to read, eat, smoke and believe what we want. You say "only drug users/addicts don't want drugs destroyed". I say "only weak minded people need to believe in religion."

How about I don't try to illegalize what YOU like, and you keep your hands off of what I like?

Posted by ben November 11, 09 07:47 AM

Some day this war's gonna end.

Posted by Anonymous November 11, 09 02:39 PM

---"The only people who complain about drug eradication, seems to be the ones who are hopelessly addicted to them."---

Nice "guilt by association" witch-hunt argument there. I guess thats what you resort to when the facts arent on your side but completely against you and your position. I am not hopelessly addicted to anything, and part of the reason people "complain about drug eradication" is because you havent "eradicated" those drugs at all (an impossible and silly goal), you've merely locked up millions of Americans for a nonviolent personal choice and created an incredibly violent and lucrative black market. Meanwhile those drugs you sought to "eradicate" proliferated in supply, got far cheaper, far more potent, and far more available on the street. Way to go.

Anyone actually still repeating the ludicrous "gateway drug" argument against marijuana needs their head examined. Most bikers start out by driving a car...does driving a car therefore lead to owning a motorcycle? No. The fact is that the vast majority of people who smoke marijuana never go on to become hard drug addicts.

And for those who say they are actually somehow more disturbed by the images of addicts using drugs than they are by images of human beings mutilated, beaten, disfigured, castrated, tortured, beheaded, and/or shot...all I can say is that your warped sense of morality and humanity speaks volumes about what sort of ignorant and demented thinking is behind the brutal, corrupt, and senseless policy of prohibition. You would honestly rather see someone's butchered body left in the street than see a person who is addicted to something? In all seriousness, what is the matter with you?

Posted by anonymous November 12, 09 05:39 PM

espectacular mente soprendente , como la sociedad acaba consigo mismo dia tras dia ...

Posted by johnatan pineda November 13, 09 10:58 AM

Drugs aren't the problem. People are the problem. Just the same as people who want to illegalize guns, well, guns don't kill people, people kill people. I personally enjoy marijuana and a select few other drugs, I am not addicted yet i like to do them regularly on the weekends. However, people like me who can control themselves do not have the problems they show in the pictures and try to make the public believe. I just graduated from high school with a 4.0 gpa and am currently a student at Purdue University. Drugs don't have to ruin your life. I don't hurt my family, I don't hurt my friends, and the most hurt i do to myself is the same hurt that any person who smokes cigarettes or drinks alcohol does. People who want to do drugs will do them and the governement can't do a damn thing about it. Spend our money elsewhere dealing with things that people don't choose to happen to them, like rape and murder. People who do drugs, choose to do drugs, if they want to stop, then we can help them. But it's their choice. You can't stop it, this war will never end.

Posted by im just saying November 13, 09 11:47 AM

lol "At least 3.4 tons of cocaine were confiscated and three people were arrested" 3.4 TONS!! and only 3 arrested. how were these 3 people moving the 3.4 tons of coke?

Posted by Viesse November 13, 09 12:59 PM

Drugs are not the problem. The self-destructive behavior is. Teaching people to love themselves in any aspect, is quiet cheaper than fighting a war drug. It's obvious that "illegal drugs", as well as The War Industry, gives many more jobs. Heavy drugs are a serious business, and for all the unscrupulous people who sell them, well... just jail them. But, what about if I wanna have a 3 meter tall cannabis plant in my backyard, just to smoke it myself, or to make some recipes? I'm an adult. I think I can handle it pretty well. Besides, it's my problem... isn't it? So... why people and law insist to put cocaine drug dealers at the same level of a cannabis grower? I think it's ignorance, or fear... or both.

Posted by Thomas Vaissen November 13, 09 02:25 PM

hey 243 "my great uncle was a police officer in mexico. he wouldnt bend to the local drug dealers rules. they came to his home and killed him. yes the forefathers of america both grew and smoked copious amounts of pot. that doesnt mean it should be legalized. they didnt have access to the drugs that are available today. drugs cause crime. they cause murder. they ruin lives. what would be accomplished by legalizing them? nothing. more dope would be smoked. more people would smoke it. more people would be killed."

yes its tragic that your uncle was killed and what not but did you ever consider that if there was no war on drugs there would be no dealers to do it? black market trade and huge profits breed violence and corruption if drugs were available in stores there wouldnt be turf wars or executions over them because there would no illicit market. it would save us around 5 billion dollars each year with all the weapons, propagnada, jails sentances(each guy in jail for a joint costs the tax payers 140 grand a year) and surveillance for the drug war gone. in the constitution and declaration of independance we are given the write to privacy, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness we have the 21st ammendment for a reason. the drug war takes away our privacy with surveillance into our homes, phones, and blood stream, it takes away our lives with a black market gang war, it takes away our liberty with jail sentences and no choice, and it takes away our happiness with incarceration of family, and denying us our write to do what we will with our own bodies. our forefathers would be appalled at the laws we are forced to live under the taxes we pay for a war that we do not support they would be up in arms over this and sence our nations intellect, values, and credibility have steadilly declined sence there era i believe we should honor there views not classify them as archaic, radical, or unfit. All drugs available today are simply synthetic and more potent varieties of the ones from there day were it not for this war most of them would likelly never have been synthesized at all. drugs do not cause crime the black market trade in them causes violent crime while its resulting price increase causes the robbery and prostitution associated with them. the fact that years of propaganda have caused a sick viewof addiction as well addiction is a chronic obssessive compulsive mental disease that needs to be treated and studied not shunned, arrested, and hidden there would be less drug addicts if so many werent scared to get treatment due to the ridicule, cruellty, and stigma they will recieve due to a society brain washed by just say no. They only ruin lives due to the excessive price and unwillingness to get help both caused by the so called war. the money spent on the war should be used for treatment programs, harm reduction programs, and education about the REAL dangers of drugs instead of a long lost crusade agianst the independantlly minded. a lot would be accomplished by legalizing them. more economic profit, better education on there dangers, no more hiding in shame, more people able to be employed, less new users, a better understanding of addiction, less violence, no more cartels, no more turf wars over the corner, freeing up law enforcement for important tasks, keeping adolescents who made one mistake out of jail, harm reduction through eduction, break throughs in medicine too tabou to research before, and many other good things. stop fighting a war on drugs and fight one on crime instead THEY ARE NOT THE SAME

Posted by drug free but not stupid November 13, 09 04:02 PM

Simply shocking, some of these photos really make you stop and think. Grandparents feeding their grand children opiates, just setting their kids up for disaster. However some of them live in such crappy countries that they don't have a purpose for living any how. Such a sad world we live in.

Posted by Photonerd November 14, 09 01:34 AM

If drugs were legal, the gangs would have nothing to sell. They wouldn't have to fight for territory. If drugs were legal, people who were addicted could go to rehab without fear of being arrested for trying to get help.

If drugs were regulated we wouldn't see kids using. We wouldn't see people dying from tainted drugs.

If drugs were taxed, we could afford to have everyone on a health care plan that paid for itself, and provided care to those who need it.

But of course, my argument is one in a sea of countless reactionary, fear-based outcries rooted in misinformation, misunderstanding, and lack of education. It disgusts me to read some of these things, knowing that people actually feel the way they do about these problems. They act like killing more people and cracking down harder is going to make it all better. It's not. Look at what the REAL cause of the problem is. What causes the violence and despair. Once you do that you see it isn't the drugs. It's the people who are waging this "war".

Disagree with me if you want. I know the truth that is behind all this, and no matter how loud I say it, or how many times it's said the fools, fearful, and deaf will simply ignore reason.

Posted by Truthsayer November 14, 09 01:44 AM

Mexico, especially Ciudad Juarez, is becoming land of no one. The police can't do anything against Los Carteles. I believe that military force should be used to eradicate those bastards.

Posted by julio pebe November 14, 09 02:19 AM

Drugs don't kill people - people kill people!
More often than not people kill, murder and steal to get the resources for obtaining more drugs!!! By legalizing them the hope is that people will not have to go such extremes to "serve" their addictions.
What is sad to me is seeing people under the influence and also the long term effect of it. It is so sad to see a fit human-being becoming the slave of their addictions - the very addictions killing their bodies and minds so that they are eventually better off dead than suffering alive... It is so sad - imagine if they could lives filled with love, have families...

Posted by Christine November 14, 09 03:13 PM

The drug epidemic is growing and more than ever people need help! I am in recovery and have been sober for a year and a half. I went to Sober Living by the Sea in Newport Beach California and learned how to live again. They gave me a life again. If anyone needs help please go and get it!

Posted by chris s November 18, 09 04:22 PM

I agree w/ earlier comments. Legalize the substances and use the money from it to support treatment and education. The profit and violence promulgated by trying to end drug problems and addiction via law enforcement is far outweighing any good being accomplished.
Now, I don't want to see a companies being able to sell the stuff like Soda w/ commercials and general promotion, but simple possession has to stop being a crime and we have to take the insane profits out of narcotics. No one is willing to work for $5 an hour at some crap job when they can make 2000 a day or more selling drugs. And then once you have been caught, you have a record that persists long after your punishment is done and then can't even get that $5 an hour job and then the authorities are amazed that these individuals are recidivist. Everyone has to eat and when you render them ineligible for legitimate work what else are they expected to do. One is almost forced into a criminal existence as they are not allowed to move back into normal society anyways.

Posted by Mike November 19, 09 04:33 PM

Some commentator said that "The war on drugs is helping massively"

I can't help but be dumbfounded by this statement and be saddened that this is your conclusion after seeing these photos.

The war on drugs is a joke, the seizures, the stash burnings and the arrests are shoddily built sand bags against an ever rising flood of crime and violence. The war "on" drugs is a war on people. It is a war for control of minds and bodies. And both sides know it.

The legal systems are the weapons, the politicians and producers are the officers, and every single tool from DARE, your "well-meaning" housewife to your local cop is an enlisted man.

And no, I don't "do" drugs. I don't even drink other than a good glass of red wine after dinner. The irrationality and dishonesty of the war on drugs and the history of where and how The War On Drugs started is stunning.

These images are painful to look at for so many reasons. I wish those with abuse and addiction issues get all the help they can get but the "war" itself is wrong.

Posted by Maria November 23, 09 04:40 PM

every person who smokes ganja every person that uses heroin or cocaine in the USA are responsible for these murders and will pay in eternity for every murder and the crimes committed by these filthy drug gangsters

Posted by s.p. Irtual December 12, 09 12:49 PM

I agree with Rene from Mexico. We have a problem with drugs on the Indian reservations here in the Southwest US, but it's almost like the problem is ancillary to the trafficking, that it came about that we have a mass of addicts of hard and soft drugs here because the drugs only come here, to the Rez, on their way to other places.

True, NYC has a low street crime rate now; there are periods as long as week where no murders happen. However, these statistics came about because of Broken Windows police activity, and Broken Windows and policies like it have no effect at all on wholesale black-market and grey-market drug activity. The kilos keep pouring in to NYC to be packaged and parceled and shipped to everywhere else in the Eastern Seaboard, while the kilos keeping pouring in to Chicago to be packaged and parceled and shipped to everywhere else in the Mid-East, and to Seattle, and to Richmond, and to Miami, and to LA, and to-

This isn't a war we're fighting on drugs. In war, people have the means to kill the enemy. In America, we've taken our best weapons, the death penalty and swift trials, and tossed them out the window on purpose.

Make drug trafficking cases of any amount of any type of drug larger than 2 Pounds a mandatory death penalty case with 'simple possession' rules of evidence and rewrite State constitutions to remove State supreme court appeal liberties in drug cases, so there's two levels of appeal and THAT'S IT: you get 3 chances to prove your innocence including the original trial, and if you can't in 3 then that's good enough for me.

Jail is a joke. People do three years every day with no sweat because they know if they don't talk they get a job back on the street that beats Wal-Mart wages within weeks of their release.

Either start killing some people and make drug-running and -selling serious crimes again, or legalize it.

This half-and-half stuff is a joke. And the only people that truly get it and are laughing? The membership of the National Bar Association.

Posted by Paul December 31, 09 04:06 AM

i'm not sure why the pictures of dead bodies are censored but the pictures of people smoking/injecting drugs are not censored. i find the latter much more harmful.

its too bad the afghan govt is cracking down so hard on growing of poppies. the drug lords in afghanistan protected the local provinces from al queda and other terrorist groups. now that there is less money to be made by the drug lords and their employees, more people are turning to terrorist gangs. its too bad we don't have a president with a half a brain which would encourage afghan officials to focus on the real threat--terrorism--and ignore the other "threat" of growing poppies.

Posted by no more drug war January 12, 10 03:58 PM

I have a question for all you AMERICANS reading these comments.

In Mexico everybody can pin point who the real DRUGLORDS are, and I'm talking about the ones that export tons and tons to the US. Everybody knows their names and cities they live in and you can even see them in the streets, restaurants, bars, etc. TV news mention them daily...hell we even have one in FORBES magazine ( Joaquin "el chapo" Guzman #701 world billionaires).

So my question is... How come in the US you never hear/read on the news who the druglords are, who receives tons and tons of drugs in the US? Is the government involved? Why the cover-up? Who are they? Sure is not the guy in the corner selling joints right?

The US government is so hypocrite, “war on drug” is such bs. They could stop the import of drugs anytime but there is so much money involved that it’s an endless “war”, plus who would they sell their guns to?

Posted by Paco Sanchez January 12, 10 07:12 PM

Why are there no pictures of people smoking pot and then having a great time? It seems rather one sided to show just the dark side of drugs. I have lived what many modern day Puritans would consider a deviant lifestyle and have made many like minded friends, and I've derived much happiness from occasionally smoking some grass or eating some psilocybe mushrooms. I've used it responsibly and show up to work everyday, like countless others. I'm sick of having to be paranoid some thugs in uniform are going to kick in my door and haul me away to corporate prison because I choose to pursue what makes me happy. The drug war should be condemned as against the spirit of freedom that America was founded on. People used to come to America to escape persecution for what they believed in, and if I believe these substances help tune me into a higher power, it should be my right to use them. Many cultures believe these sacred plants to heal the soul and show the way. I believe there is truth in this. Today America has the largest percent of its population behind bars than any other country, many of the people in prison are nonviolent drug offenders. We can no longer claim to be the land of the free.

I have had many positive life changing revelations while under the influence of these plants and truly believe they have been a positive influence. The health benefits of cannabis are now evident to anybody willing to open their eyes. The vast majority of people who use cannabis and natural hallucinogens do so responsibly. Once upon a time, they used to burn people at the stake who followed the path of herbalism. They called them witches. Now is the time for the witch hunt to end. The dark ages are over.

Posted by Charlie January 21, 10 11:58 PM

Drugs don't kill people!! People Kill People.
The Drug War is lost.
One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. We tried alcohol prohibition and it did not work. Now why does anyone think drug prohibition will? Take the crime out of drug use. Legalize and educate everyone to the results of drug use. Humanity will learn just like with tobacco use. Humanity will see the negative affects and make the right decisions on their own.

Posted by Philip Pugsley February 3, 10 08:01 PM

hello,i live in tijuana mexico and most of the pictures i remember watching them in the news and local newspapers,like the yellow jeep guy,the shot gun to the head guy and the hanging body in the bridge,a cousin of mine went to school with this guys kid,he worked for the city government in the mexican version of the dmv,it sounds cruel but we have become accustomed to this violence,i even hear gun shots at night and have seen a shooting in a red light in broad day light and with kids wating for the bus to school,i just hope some day all this none sense of the so called drug war ends soon.

Posted by jesus s. February 20, 10 03:28 AM

prohibition didn't work once so why does the government think its going to work this time. they are just fooling themselves if they think drugs will ever be eradicated from our society. yes, it is a nice wish but who really thinks its possible? we might as well spend our money on matters of more importance then sit around hoping one day a drug dealer will wake up and think.."oh boy. selling drugs to kids isn't a good idea. the government won't like this. perhaps i should stop and turn myself in." come on get real. that's never going to happen. sadly money drives our society and there's just too much good money to be made in the drug trade. look at all those billion dollar drug lords.this war on drugs is pointless and not going anywhere. i wish someone in government would realize that and act on it. more then half of the country has already come to that conclusion. the war on drugs is a complete and utter failure.

Posted by Lindsay May 24, 10 07:19 PM

As far as rich countries will sell some indispensable product used for the drug production, as far Westerns government will not regulate the sells of these product, drugs have nice days ahead.
In the other hand can you name one government who rather prefers an healthy youth (upset by the political situation of his own country) than a youth totally into an addicted situation, addict on drugs, sex, games etc. I'm not sure it does exist now

Posted by theopa June 14, 10 06:56 AM


Posted by LEE June 20, 10 07:37 PM

As you can see from the pictures above, drug addiction is a rampant and hellish problem that we are faced with. When I was a young kid, I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would become a Heroin/Cocaine addict! But it happened. You don't realize it that much while it's happening, but it just gets worse and worse as time goes on. The best way to get turned around is to remove yourself from People, Places, and Things. After that get into some type of treatment program! Check uot for great information on heroin/cocaine addiction as well as information about Hepatitis C and I.V. Drug use.

Posted by Mike October 7, 10 12:02 PM

We have been fighting the Drug War for over 50 years and we are clearly losing. It seems that every time I get pulled over for speeding or something else minor, the damn police want to search my vehicle. I am sick of it. Prohibition doesn't work. If drugs were legal there would be very little violence and the drugs would be purer with no contamination.
I hate the way society has been programmed through gov't propaganda to think that drug users are vicious criminals. That is a complete lie.
The US can kill thousands of people with it's war machine, and few people seem to care. Undeclared wars are the real issue...the US gov't wants you to take your eye off the ball with a phony "drug war" while they kill more people.

Posted by Screw Socialism March 4, 11 10:18 AM

that is horible especially everythin

Ps i love bananas!!!!!!

Posted by shawn April 29, 11 01:18 PM
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