In the United States a drug dealer caught selling a bag of weed will do hard time compared to a drug dealer like Pfizer that can sell drugs at a much higher cost because they have the police State and the court system behind them. Though Escobar was a vicious drug dealer who was responsible for numerous deaths, his primary opponent was Big Pharma that pushed the U.S. government to do whatever they could to wipe out their competition. Meanwhile Big Pharma is killing millions of Americans each year by overprescribing meds, charging exorbitant prices for their dangerous cornucopia of addictive treats and undermining our democracy at every turn. Far more destructive and dangerous than Escobar ever was, they do have the support of Wall Street. Because America is far from a functioning democracy and because Americans will still crown a new emperor in November that promises to be more "Big Pharma friendly", we can expect the war against the poor to accelerate as hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers are added every few years in the U.S., while the fat cat drug dealers of Wall Street will not only walk away rich, they will be hailed as savvy businessmen.
'Get tough on crime' loosely translates into stick more poor people in jail and turn a blind eye to the wealthy crooks. Big Pharma supports this framework as long as there are enough "users" out there who still rely on their wares. Though many Americans are quite aware that the big drug pushers are charging too much money for their smack, most people put the blame at the feet of government or else the user for relying on the drugs in the first place.
Many celebrity drug addicts (i.e. Rush Limbaugh) actually are praised daily by society only because their drugs were had by "legal means" and because the addict is going through a 'difficult time'. But if someone tries to circumvent the system (i.e. buy drugs on the street), they will immediately be incarcerated and turned over to the State to produce slave labour for a number of years. Now that Americans are addicted to a variety of drugs that our pharmaceutical companies provide (excluding the Pablo Escobars of the world!), business is flourishing which translates into more control of politicians and our court system by these new corporate robber barons. Maybe soon a famous drug dealer like Shrkeli will be our next President of the United States as the general population praises him for his massive accumulation of wealth and his unwavering support for all things corporate. Do we deserve any better?