The Opium Wars of 1840-1860 were dark chapters in the history of colonialism, when Britain made war on the Chinese to force them to import thousands of tons of opium, which crippled and impoverished their nation. It's much less well-known that the Opium Wars never really ended. The United States, like China, was too great for the London money lords to occupy directly. One way America is being brought to heel is by the drug trade. Crime and other social problems in the U.S. and Mexico are massively influenced by drugs and drug dealing. Illicit drugs may now account for as much as $1 trillion annually in financing for criminal activity and corruption.