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  1. chillinwill
    Attorney General Terry Goddard said Tuesday he might be willing to consider legalizing marijuana if a way can be found to control its distribution - and figure out who has been smoking it.

    Goddard said marijuana sales make up 75 percent of the money that Mexican cartels use for other operations, including smuggling other drugs and fighting the Mexican army and police.

    He said that makes fighting drug distribution here important to cut off that cash. He acknowledged those profits could be slashed if possession of marijuana were not a crime in Arizona.

    But Goddard said a number of other hurdles remain before that even becomes a possibility.

    Goddard's comments came following a press conference Tuesday announcing the breakup of a major ring that police said has been responsible for bringing about 400,000 pounds of marijuana into Arizona each year since 2003.

    The operation has led to the indictment of 59 people and the arrests of 39 of them, some in this country legally and others who were not.

    Phoenix police Lt. Vince Piano said the operation was very sophisticated, complete with specially designed heavy-duty trucks to actually let vehicles drive over the border fence.

    He said this operation was one of several under contract to Mexican drug lords to transport the marijuana from the border through the Tohono O'odham Reservation all the way to Phoenix. Piano said busting this organization doesn't stop the flow of drugs, as this is one of several "transportation groups" working with the cartel. But he said it does disrupt at least part of the flow.

    Arizona drug laws came up during questions about the operation of drug cartels and the violence associated with their operations, particularly in the Mexican state of Sinaloa.

    "The key is, they will no longer exist when people don't buy marijuana," said Matthew Allen, special agent in charge of the office of investigations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "This is a market-driven economy and this is a market-driven activity."

    By Howard Fischer
    December 23, 2008
    East Valley Tribune
    http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/133027

Comments

  1. NeuroChi
    Fantastic! Someone in power see's that the war on drugs has failed, hopefully he presses this agenda.
  2. thebige
    Swim belives that if it was legal,the profits would pay back the 700 billion dollars that is being used to hold our economic system together.
  3. robin_himself
    Goddard Poses Legalizing Pot

    Source: Arizona Daily Star

    [​IMG] Phoenix, AZ -- Attorney General Terry Goddard said Tuesday that he might be willing to consider legalizing marijuana if a way can be found to control its distribution — and figure out who has been smoking it.


    Goddard's comments came after a press conference Tuesday announcing the breakup of a major ring police said has been responsible for bringing about 400,000 pounds of marijuana across the border and into Arizona each year since 2003.


    The attorney general said marijuana sales make up 75 percent of the money Mexican cartels use for their other operations, including smuggling other drugs and fighting the Army and police in that country.
    He said that makes fighting drug distribution here important, to cut off that cash.

    Goddard acknowledged those profits could be slashed if possession of marijuana were not a crime in Arizona. But he said a number of other hurdles remain before that even becomes a possibility.

    Phoenix police Lt. Vince Piano said the operation was sophisticated, complete with specially designed heavy-duty trucks to surmount the border fence.

    The smugglers also had solar-powered radio towers and a network of lookouts who told the trucks, each carrying up to 2,500 pounds of marijuana, when to move and when to hide under camouflage. He said there even was a system of "food drops" to supply the drivers.

    Goddard said the move to break up the ring has so far led to the indictment of 59 people and the arrest of 39 of them, some in this country legally and others who were not.

    Piano said the operation was one of several under contract to Mexican drug lords to transport the marijuana from the border through the Tohono O'odham Reservation to Phoenix.

    Piano said busting the organization doesn't stop the flow of drugs, saying it was just one of several "transportation groups" working with the cartel. But he said it does disrupt at least part of the flow.

    The issue of Arizona drug laws came up during questions about the operation of drug cartels and the violence associated with their operations, particularly in the Mexican state of Sinaloa.

    "The key is, they will no longer exist when people don't buy marijuana," said Matthew Allen, special agent in charge of the office of investigations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "This is a market-driven economy and this is a market-driven activity."

    Allen said the question of legalization to eliminate those profits is a policy question.

    "But if we're going to go down that road, what is the acceptable amount of marijuana that you want a bus driver to have in their system?" he continued.

    "I believe it's zero," Goddard said later.

    Goddard said a lot of time and money are spent on enforcement activities like the one that resulted in the bust announced Tuesday. He said that requires "a hard look" at the issue.

    But Goddard said it's not as easy as simply declaring it legal. He said there would need to be some controls on who gets the drugs — and how much they use.

    So far, he said, no one has found a way to put the kind of controls on marijuana he would want before he would consider legalizing it.
    Allen echoed the concern that smuggling operations are not simply about marijuana.

    He said Mexican cartels also are in the business of smuggling cocaine and other drugs on behalf of other cartels in places like Colombia. He said they make up the money they lose when those drugs are seized through the profits they make selling marijuana in the United States.
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