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The global trend towards legalizing marijuana

The world was recently shocked when US sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson was disqualified from Tokyo 2020 after testing positive for marihuana, a banned yet non performance-enhancing substance. That's because global public opinion on pot is shifting: cannabis is now legal in more than 40 countries and almost three-quarters of US states — red ones too. And although everyone is cashing in on the green gold these days, high profits are not the only factor driving legalization. Mexico may soon become the world's largest cannabis market in part to blunt the power of drug cartels, while the famously square World Bank is now best buds with Malawi for growing the world's finest sativa. Delve into the weeds of legalization on GZERO World.

Watch the episode: The (political) power of alcohol

Has the “war on drugs” been won yet?

It's been fifty years since the United States declared one of the costliest wars in its history — a trillion-dollar campaign waged at home and abroad, which continues to grind on today.

In June of 1971, President Richard Nixon, alarmed by the rise of permissive hippy culture and drug use, unleashed what would become known as the "war on drugs," a tough-on-crime approach that melded law enforcement, military action, and a public messaging campaign that both scared and scolded.

Aiming to reduce American drug use, it severely criminalized consumption in the US, while attacking international cartels' capacity to produce and export illicit narcotics, in particular from Latin America.

Did it work? We take a look at three of the war's major "battlefields" today.

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The Graphic Truth: Did the war on drugs work?

It's been 50 years since President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs in the United States, a campaign underscored by punitive policies aimed at eradicating everything to do with illicit drug use. Since then, the US government has spent over $1 trillion on the campaign, roughly a 1,090% increase in spending in just 39 years. But all this money hasn't stopped drug use from surging in recent decades, along with overdose deaths. In fact, the war on drugs' main legacy is that of mass incarceration; severe penalties for drug-related offenses resulted in mostly Black and Latino Americans being thrown into prison. We take a look at government spending on drug control and the prison population size in recent decades.

Why Mexico's AMLO is still so popular despite rampant violence

"The message for the killers and for the drug cartels is very simple: 'You kill in Mexico, and nothing happens to you.'" Acclaimed journalist and Univision news anchor Jorge Ramos does not mince words when talking about the abject failure that has been Mexico's "war on drugs" over the last decades. And he pins much of the blame on the man who assumed office on a pledge to curb violence: Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. But despite his failure to follow through on a key campaign promise, López Obrador remains widely popular in Mexico. Ramos offers a theory for why that is during his interview with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Watch the GZERO World episode: Can AMLO Live Up to Mexico's Critical Moment? Jorge Ramos Discusses

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