A Letter From The Publisher: Jul. 6, 1981

Once a cottage industry serving the fringes of society, illicit drugs have become a brutal big business where customers are increasingly upscale, if no less immune to the dangers of abuse. For this week's cover story on cocaine, the most deceptive and expensive of drugs, TIME sent a team of correspondents to measure its burgeoning popularity across the country. Jonathan Beaty interviewed sources in Washington, D.C., New Mexico and Southern California, while Jeff Melvoin traveled in New England, Florida and Colorado, and Steven Holmes covered Northern California and the Midwest. Correspondent Robert L....

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