US Opens Second Drug War Front | The Fix
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US Opens Second Drug War Front

Indian reservations, Hells Angels and 4,000 miles: Why our northern frontier is especially hard to guard.


Many border areas are remote
wilderness. Photo via

By Luke Walker


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Washington’s war on drugs is switching just a little of its focus from the Mexican border to the Canadian one. Marijuana and ecstasy, in particular, move easily across the the 4,000-mile border, which mostly cuts through wilderness and rural land. Indian tribes in Canada are said to play a key role in the smuggling, using their autonomy to collaborate with organized gangs like the Italian Mob and Hell’s Angels. Now officials at the American National Center Of Drug Control Policy have penned a strategy to combat Canadian smuggling: increasing ties with Canadian and Tribal law enforcement, sharing intelligence, and improving joint cross-border operations, undercover operations and electronic eavesdropping. New York state alone shares a 445-mile, lightly-monitored border with Canada, posing a big problem for law enforcement. "I pushed so hard for this strategy to be finalized because we must immediately stop the flow of drugs from Canada into New York, and it's going to take an international effort on both sides of the border,” says NY Senator Charles Schumer, an advocate of the new approach. The drug war will now be waged on two domestic fronts.

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