America's war on drugs is told through a series of stories ranging from the highly personal to those filled with intrigue and danger. The U.S. president's new antidrug czar, an Ohio Supreme Court judge Robert Lewis (Michael Douglas), must deal with his increasingly drug-addicted teenage daughter Caroline (Erika Christensen). A wealthy drug baron Carlos Ayala (Steven Bauer) is arrested and learns how quickly his unknowing and pampered wife Helena Ayala (Catherine Zeta-Jones) takes over his business. A pair of undercover DEA agents Montel Gordon and Ray Castro (Don Cheadle, Luis Guzman) work in the dangerous world of San Diego dealers. A Mexican policeman Javier Rodriguez (Benicio Del Toro) finds himself caught in a web of corruption.