Quoting Joe Caldwell (https://www.facebook.com/groups/386297208140236/permalink/479999475436675/):
The drug war has a dual function: an economic one to make profits for the narcocapitalists at the top of the drug chain and the drug war military industrial complex, and an ideological one, to police political dissent. It confers a number of concrete benefits on the Mexican and US governments. For the United States internationally, it is the pretext to intervene in the internal affairs of Central America, Latin America, and elsewhere. The drug war allows for the arming of governments that promote US military and business interests. Domestically, the drug war scapegoats Mexicans and African Americans for social and economic problems. And fighting a drug war with no end in sight is a permanent source of profits for US gun dealers, military contractors, and banks, not to mention the producers of all the non-military equipment used by the various agencies and cartels involved in the trade and in law enforcement.
In Mexico, the drug war is a mechanism of social control of oppressed groups that would challenge the state for power and for a bigger share of the wealth. It is used as a justification to attack movements for social justice, and labor and indigenous rights. Sections of the Mexican state, police, and military organizations profit from the drug trade through massive and widespread corruption. And of course the drug capos are raking in billions of dollars every year.
Economically and ideologically, the war on drugs hasn’t failed, it is a stunning success. The illegality of drugs increases the rate of profit exponentially and funnels billions of dollars into the repressive apparatus of the police and military to oppress and imprison people fighting for human and civil rights. These are the real reasons the war on drugs doesn’t have an exit strategy and why certain sections of society want the war to continue despite the carnage.