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Marijuana, opium flourish as Mexico fights cartels

Mexican soldiers cut and burned opium poppies in remote mountains of Guerrero State in southwest Mexico. Mexican soldiers cut and burned opium poppies in remote mountains of Guerrero State in southwest Mexico. (William Booth/Washington Post)
By Nick Miroff
Washington Post / October 25, 2011

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The Mexican government is allowing domestic marijuana and opium poppy production to climb to record levels, as soldiers who once cut and burned illegal crops here in the vast Sierra Madre mountains are being redeployed to cities to wage urban warfare against criminal gangs. Since President Felipe Calderon ordered his troops into the streets in late 2006, the acreage dedicated to marijuana farming has nearly doubled in Mexico.

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