The Drug War Bogs Down

A year after the uproar over cocaine, the crisis has grown worse

It is lunchtime in New York City's Chelsea district, and Barry, a young drug dealer, is out on the streets hawking his wares. Business is good. "You want a splash?" he asks a customer, referring to a slim fold of waxed paper containing $20 worth of cocaine. Although he was arrested twice last winter, Barry was sprung both times within 24 hours. The first bust cost him a $400 fine, the second was dismissed on a technicality. "When the crack thing was in all the papers, the heat was pretty bad," Barry recalls. "The cops were coming around, sealing the street,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!