There are no good guys or bad guys in the so-called War on Drugs.
On that theme, "Traffic," directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Stephen Gaghan, is a brilliant movie. It's engaging, heart-breaking and all too real, interweaving multiple storylines with a top-notch ensemble cast.
One story begins with Tijuana cop Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro) and his partner Manolo Sanchez (Jacob Vargas) on a stakeout in the desert. They confiscate a truckload of drugs, only to be overtaken by Mexican army troops in shining new black Suburbans. The punchline of this opening sequence? There is no difference between the drug traffickers and Mexican government officials. They are literally the same people.
In another story, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Robert Wakefield (Michael Douglas) defends US asset seizure laws saying there's "no sacred protection of property rights in the United States" -- if you grow a controlled substance like marijuana (or, he should have added, if they plant it on you).