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Almost every day I read something that serves as a reminder that my understanding of the world is sorely limited. But this is the first time such an epiphany came in a sentence about cocaine and opossums :

Cocaine’s a hell of a drug, and even more so when laced with another drug that’s commonly used to deworm opossums.

Apparently, 69 percent of cocaine shipments seized entering the United States contain opossum deworming medicine—and no one knows for sure why.

As if that wasn’t weird enough, it turns out that the illicit proceeds of cocaine laced with opossum medicine (and other strange narcotic mixtures) may have saved the global banking industry during the international liquidity crisis:

Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations’ drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer .

Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were “the only liquid investment capital” available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.

I don’t know which is weirder, that we live in a world where laundered drug money keeps our banks afloat or that we ever have a need to deworm opossums.

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