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Breaking Bad Habits: New Mexico Cannot Protect Its Kids From Mexican Drug Cartels While The Borders Are Open
[See also Ann Coulter: 'Breaking Bad': A Christian Parable]
Creating drug dealers in New Mexico may lead to great television, but it shouldn't be a result of our immigration policy.
Breaking Bad, the story of a white chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin in New Mexico, came to an end last Sunday. The scribblers and chattering classes are obsessing over the show and its meaning, but continuing to avert their eyes from the actual casualties of drugs in New Mexico. Most importantly, they take care not to address what is really driving the death toll in the Land of Enchantment – mass immigration.
While Breaking Bad’s Walter White occasionally clashed with Mexican gangs on AMC, the real life penetration of the Mexican cartels into the United States is no fiction. New Mexico’s rate of drug overdose is higher than the national average – and many of the cartel's customers are teenagers. [The Heroin Surge | As addiction climbs in Albuquerque, cartels are ready to deliver, By Joe Kolb, Alibi.com, June 2 - 8, 2011 ]
New Mexico politicians are divided about how to respond. Rep. Emily Kane (D) proposed to reduce marijuana possession penalties but her bill was defeated in the Senate. However, the debate over liberalization of marijuana laws is irrelevant—youth in New Mexico are dying from hard drug use and overdoses that will continue as long as the borders remain open.
New Mexico has some of the highest national rates of cocaine and marijuana use for 12-17 year olds, according to New Mexico’s Department of Health. But the real problem drugs in the Southwest: heroin and prescription opiate painkillers. As a society, we are in a prescription drug abuse crisis, officially declared an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2009.
Of course, Americans’ tendency to pop a pill to deal with the stresses of everyday life is not the fault of drug cartel. However, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that one-third of people over twelve who used a controlled substance for the first time started off using a prescription drug non-medically. The leap to heroin from opiate painkillers in New Mexico is even more logical, given its low cost and easy availability.
The source of this cheap heroin: Mexico. Mike Gallagher, a journalist for the Albuquerque Journal, has spent his career investigating the New Mexican drug cartels