How Legal Pot Could Harm the Cartels

By Balzafire · Jul 18, 2010 · ·
  1. Balzafire
    So far, no modern country has ever legalized marijuana production—not even the Netherlands. Yet with heavy drug-related violence plaguing the U.S.-Mexican border, some analysts and policymakers now say that America should legalize weed in order to reduce the power of Mexico’s drug cartels.

    Marijuana carries the least amount of overhead cost for many of the cartels and provides some of their cash flow for buying guns and influence. Estimates vary, but analysts say pot accounts for somewhere in the range of 20 to 50 percent of the cartels’ profits. But that could soon change with competition from El Norte: California has a proposition set for the November ballot—on which voters are roughly split—that would legalize the drug’s domestic production and sale. If the measure passes, says a recent analysis by the RAND Corporation, California could become a major supplier of the drug to the rest of the U.S. That, according to George W. Grayson, a professor of government at William & Mary, “would hurt the cartels badly.” RAND estimates that it could reduce the drug’s pretax price by more than 80 percent.

    Of course, whether legalization has any real effect depends on the rate at which the drug is taxed. A tax rate of $50 per ounce, for example, would generally not make high-grade California cannabis cost-competitive with less potent Mexican imports. Yet a lower tax rate could significantly decrease the cartels’ market share. That wouldn’t put them out of business—they’d still be major players in the markets for cocaine, heroin, and meth—but it could reduce their power.

    by R. M. Schneiderman July 17, 2010

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  1. xenos
    Isn't this kind of like... no shit? Those arguing against prohibition have been saying this for decades... why is the focus just on the Mexican cartels though?
  2. Balzafire
    They aren't focusing only on that, but it's a huge deal - the Mexican cartel has waged an unbelievably violent drug war at the border and it's affecting all the border states. You will be seeing a lot more stories on the mexican cartel drug war and "Los Zetas" soon as they grow stronger and get ever more violent and spread their violence across our border. They are actively recruiting terrorist soldiers now. If you want to see how scary that is, go to google images and do a search on Los zetas. Dude - it's chilling.
  3. Raoul duke420
    Swim really doubts that legalizing herb would do much to disturb cartel business overall. Seems they bring in tons of profits from growing on huge scales but the meth and coke is where the majority of their money is coming from swim thinks.

    Besides that the brick weed they export is totally bunk. cant even belive that anyone smokes it, let alone pays for that crap.
  4. One Dead Cop
    Yeah theres a reason that the slang term "Mexies" originated. If you're getting mexies you're getting shitty weed from mexico. Swim thinks they should just grow some balls and legalize all drugs because the minute that happens all the violence stops. Swim can't believe that this obvious fact is ignored, it's as if the government enjoys watching this violence.
  5. Indigenous
    Like Balzafire said, the Mexican cartels affect the US most directly, especially since they fight so hard for control of border areas. South and Middle-American cartels are sort of out of sight, out of mind. Much easier to ignore when it's not happening a stone's throw away.
  6. stickboy239
    Also you would have to take into the account that some Cartels also profit in other business, like prostitution and human trafficking that all benefit from drugs. Also one can make marijuana more potent or powerful by adding other substances to the mixture. Lacing it with coke or heroin is always a risk. Legal pot could harm them, but not to an extreme.
  7. Euthanatos93420
    How long till the US wakes the fuck up and realizes that actively shitting on foreign nations is exactly what develops these cultures. Ordinary citizens of a second world nation don't typically have the motivation to travel abroad and murder people (outside the influence of a long term national propaganda coup like hitler, bush, stalin, etc.).

    Threaten their families and homes and they've nothing left but to fight for it or die and watch their families die.

    I don't know about you but if someone invaded my house...well...pardon US for being hypocrites but that's exactly why we have the (constantly under assult) second amendment.

    It just pisses me off...this big dope conspiracy to keep harmless but habit forming (regardless of reason) drugs excessively profitable while institutionalized medicine that can make you as sick or sicker than the disease they treat and counter drugging you to even sicker proportions.

    And then trying to act as if our self-righteous irrational approach to drugs makes other countries part of some vile nexus of poison just takes the cake.

    It's not enough to be a holier than thou prick. You gotta kick 'em when they're down and spit in their face.

    Don't forget to youtube that shit.
  8. stickboy239
    When the profits of the U.S. lobbyists in congress are threatened that's when they start to pay attention and start to fight back.
  9. xenos
    its kind of funny that US corporations exploit the shit out of latin american countries' land, citizens, and resources, and we get worked up about cartels supplying our heavy appetite for drugs. Of course, thanks to NAFTA the corporations are somehow in the right, and cartels are on the terrorist level. It should be known that the US has its hands in many latin american countries, supporting coups and paramilitaries that kill union leaders and other dissenters.
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