Various drugs are currently illegal in the United States, such as cocaine and opium, have been historically used for thousands of years for spiritual and medical purposes.
In the 1960s, significant changes happened when drug abuse became prominent symbols of social upheaval, youth rebellion, and political dissent.
The US government responded by halting the scientific research to evaluate their health benefits and safety. Fast forward to 1971; President Nixon declared “war on drugs,” which substantially increased control over drug use.
Since tons of cocaine distributed in the US came from Colombia, the government put the drug lord of the Medellin Cartel, Pablo Escobar, at the top of their most-wanted list.
In Colombia, throughout the 1970s to late 1980s, Pablo Escobar was at the height of his power.
He was responsible for 80% of global cocaine distribution; hundreds (if not) thousands of tons were smuggled into the United States by the month.
The US government wanted him extradited and arrested for drug charges, but he used his massive fortune to buy his freedom in Colombia. He was never extradited; he was instead gunned down in his hometown of Medellin.
10 /10 Tombstone Thief
Pablo Escobar was born on December 1, 1949, to a lower-middle-class family in Rionegro, Colombia. The family moved to Medellin soon after his birth.
It was the place where Escobar grew up to be a drug lord. He had always been an ambitious person since a young age, telling his friends and family that someday he wanted to be the president of Colombia.
According to legend, he started his criminal enterprise as a tombstone thief. He would sandblast the names off, then reselling the tombstones to Panamanians. It did not take long until he moved up to stealing cars.
9 /10 Coca Paste
It was not until the 1970s that he bumped into the path to drugs, the commodity that would eventually lead to his power and wealth.
He would obtain coca paste in Peru and Bolivia, refine it, and then transport the final product into the United States.
Escobar climbed up to prominence after Fabio Restrepo, a local drug lord in Medellin, was murdered in 1975.
Now that there was a power vacuum, Escobar ended up filling the empty spot at the top. He took over the organizations that were once under Restrepo’s control and expanded operations.