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,...

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