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Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico (Cinco Puntos Checkpoint Series) Paperback – November 29, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A levelheaded, analytical exploration of why the drug war isn’t working, and how the regulated legalization of marijuana could help stem a hemorrhage of blood and money… Dealing Death and Drugs almost overwhelms with statistics, but it kind of has to." —Texas Observer

"It makes sense that those with a truly front row seat to the destruction of the Drug War would give birth to a treatise on marijuana legalization … It's a message that is sure to resonate with others if this tract can gain public notice beyond the reaches of the border, where residents are already intimately acquainted with the price of prohibition." — San Antonio Current

" … a highly readable political manifesto for a more reasoned and enlightened drug policy … O'Rourke and Byrd are to be commended for courageously and intelligently broaching and suggesting concrete policy changes concerning controversial issues upon which the future of El Paso, Juárez and other U.S.-Mexican border communities depend." — Howard Campbell, El Paso Times

From the Back Cover

The War on Drugs doesn’t work. This statement becomes obvious if you live on the U.S./Mexico Border. Especially if your home is in El Paso, Texas, and you have witnessed Ciudad Juárez—El Paso’s sister city—become one of the deadliest cities in the world.

This is why El Paso City Representative Susie Byrd and former City Rep Beto O’Rourke started to ask questions about the United States’ 40-year old War on Drugs. Byrd and O’Rourke soon realized American drug use and the United States’ failed War on Drugs are at the core of the problem. In Dealing Death and Drugs, they explore the costs and consequences of marijuana prohibition. They argue that marijuana prohibition has created a black market so profitable that drug kingpins are billionaires and drug control doesn’t stand a chance. Using Juárez as their focus, they describe the business model of drug trafficking and explain how it has contributed to the tragedy taking place in Juárez today.

Their position: the only rational alternative to the War on Drugs is to end the current prohibition on marijuana.

Beto O’Rourke announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination for El Paso’s seat in the U.S. Congress. He recently completed his second term on the El Paso City Council. He continues to run Stanton Street Technology Group, a web-development company he co-founded.

Susie Byrd is serving her second term on the El Paso City Council. Before running for City Council, she served as a top aide to Mayor Ray Caballero. She co-edited The Late Great Mexican Border: Reports from a Disappearing Line (Cinco Puntos Press, 1996).

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Dealing Death and Drugs will be donated to Centro Santa Catalina, a faith-based community in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, founded in 1996 by Dominican Sisters for the spiritual, educational and economic empowerment of economically poor women and for the welfare of their families.
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Product Details

  • Series: Cinco Puntos Checkpoint Series
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press (November 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933693940
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933693941
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #306,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico is a concise, well-reasoned, and compelling "argument to end the prohibition of marijuana." If the thousands of murders over the last few years on the Mexican border is an indication that the war is being won (as suggested by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency), then why has the number of young Americans that use marijuana not changed appreciably in 30 years? Faced with such a failure of policy, what are our options? Authors Beto O'Rourke and Susie Byrd present their case.

The opening chapters humanize the circumstance of citizens on the U.S.-Mexico border. As an outsider with nostalgic interest in my one-time home, I was shocked to learn that there had been over 3,000 murders in Juarez in 2010 alone. Why? The illegal marijuana trade is extremely profitable for organized crime cartels, and there is a Hollywood movie-like battle over power for the El Paso smuggling route.

In Chapters 2 and 3, the authors' arguments flourish with easily digested facts from respected sources, free of poisonous dogma and deadening recitation of statistics. It is here that O'Rourke and Byrd laid the groundwork for the dirty truth - the U.S. drug war has failed. A rational drug policy solution must be discussed.

Chapters 4, 5 and 6 read like a crime novel, where drug-dealers-turned-snitches spill information on the corrupt cartels. We learn of the rotten core of the illegal marijuana trade - how it moves across the border, how money changes hands, and why violence grew out of cartel turf wars.

In chapter 7, the authors' argument blossoms by pointing out the contradictions of the current drug policy. Despite billions of U.S.
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Format: Paperback
Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico is a succinct but credible argument for ending the prohibition on marijuana--a perfect choice for use in the classroom, either for juniors and seniors in high school, or freshman and sophomores in college. Written from the viewpoint of two lifelong citizens of El Paso, Texas--not to mention that they're both El Paso city politicians as well--the book takes readers from the marijuana farm deep in Mexico through the system of drug transportation through Mexico and into the U.S. to distribution points around the U.S. They follow the economics of marijuana to show just why the drug is so profitable and just why it is a major contributor to the violence tearing Mexico apart the last few years.

This is a great introduction to the topic, perfect for social studies, geography, political science, and freshman comp classes.
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Format: Paperback
Former El Paso City Council member (and current Democratic candidate for the 16th District, House of Representatives, Beto O'Rourke, and current City Council member Susie Byrd, have produced a succinct and persuasive short book on the US War on Drugs and its complete failure. Although it can be argued, as they point out, that the drug cartels, the law enforcement establishment, the prison industry, among others, are happy with this failure, as it feeds their profits and their jobs. I only wish that every member of Congress would read this book with attention - perhaps that will happen if O'Rourke is elected in November!
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Format: Paperback
Regardless of your religious or political convictions regarding the legalization of marijuana you will be challenged, informed and enlightened regarding the futility of the 40 year war on drugs initiated by Pres. Nixon in 1971. The authors, neither of whom advocates the use of marijuana, argue convincingly that the policy of prohibition has had the opposite of its intended purpose. This book should be required reading for all civic leaders, public servants, educators and parents.
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By Ruben on January 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book was an interesting read, and it arrived right on schedule, I am very happy with my order. I give this product 5 stars especially because the book company assured me that my product would arrive as early as possible before my class. Thank you!!! Me and my wallet are very happy.
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