The following is an excerpt of an article by Views on the Left Editor Peter Tutykhin which will feature in our first print issue, to be released on 15th January.

Find out how to get your own copy of the issue here.

Ever since Richard Nixon declared drug abuse ‘public enemy number one’, a new global prohibition regime has been imposed, chiefly by the United States.

Those who grew up in the 21st century have grown up with criminalisation, yet the latter remains a distinctively 20th-century project. It is also, by any reasonable measure, an abject failure. Despite every clever infomercial, new enforcement agency and public education campaign, worldwide drug use is at an all-time high. Criminalisation, however, is not only a policy failure. It is a humanitarian disaster.

Much is said about the ‘war on drugs’, that seemingly perpetual struggle between drug smugglers and state forces. Yet a second war exists, one substantially deadlier. This is the war between the drug cartels themselves, what Mexicans know as the narcoguerra – the drug war.

The drug war is a real war, even though we typically don’t think about it as such. After all, there are no clear front lines or easily discernible factions. Alliances change, cartels rise and fall and Mexico’s forces of ‘Law and Order’ frequently perform the narcos’ dirty work. The drug war is often characterised by an unfathomable complexity, and we fail to understand it in part because it isn’t fought on our streets. Not in London, Birmingham or New York, but in places like Tijuana, Culiacán and Ciudad-Juarez. The narcoguerra has claimed more lives than our 17-year-old war in Afghanistan.

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Read the rest of this piece in the print issue, to be released on the 15th January.

Join us to celebrate the launch of the magazine on the 18th January in The Goose pub, Selly Oak.