Trump's Border Wall Won't Keep Heroin Out Of America, According To The DEA

President Trump says his border wall will keep drug cartels from flooding American streets with heroin, but that plan is doomed to fail according to the DEA.

While addressing America's opioid epidemic last month, Trump promised that the massive wall he intends to build along the U.S.-Mexico border would stem the flow of heroin into America. "An astonishing 90 percent of the heroin comes from south of the border, where we will be building a wall which will greatly help in this problem," he vowed.

Trump is right in saying most of America's illicit heroin supply originates from Mexico, but trying to keep drugs out with a giant wall will work about as well as carrying water in a sieve. The majority of Mexican Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) don't smuggle drugs into the country by crossing the border illegally. They go through official ports of entry, according to the DEA.

"Mexican TCOs transport the majority of illicit drugs into the United States across the SWB [Southwest Border] using a wide array of smuggling techniques," the DEA wrote in their 2017 edition of the National Drug Threat Assessment report. "The most common method employed by these TCOs involves transporting illicit drugs through U.S. ports of entry (POEs) in passenger vehicles with concealed compartments or commingled with legitimate goods on tractor trailers."

After sneaking their illicit cargo across the border, those Mexican TCO's distribute their drugs via mules with bus tickets. "Heroin shipments are sent via couriers on passenger buses," the DEA wrote. 

That means Trump would have better luck curbing the supply of heroin imported from Mexico by banning Greyhound than by building a border wall.

So there's not much the Trump administration can do to stop the problem with supply, but he could curb demand by researching medical marijuana as an alternative to the prescription pills fuelling America's opioid epidemic. Finding that much-needed alternative would stop people from turning to heroin in the first place and put Mexican TCOs out of business. 


Citing supply shortages, Ontario announced Thursday that they would now be taking a “phased approach” to issuing cannabis retail licenses. Despite earlier claims that they would not be capping the number of licenses for retail pot shops, they announced Thursday that they would, in fact, be limiting the number of licenses dispensed in April to 25. The province says that the licenses will be issued though a lottery system overseen by a third party to “ensure equality and transparency.” This, of course, is following the Progressive Conservative’s stark change in cannabis policy for the province after defeating the Ontario Liberal government in 2018.