Legalizing Marijuana Has Negative Impact on Cartels

The legalization of marijuana has been able to do what the drug war was trying to do all along. Here’s what you need to know.

By Bronte Price, PoliticKING

According to recent reports, the legalization of marijuana has dramatically lessened the profits from the trade going to the Mexican drug cartel. Data released by the U.S. Border Patrol shows that the number of marijuana seizures throughout the southwest U.S./Mexico border is currently at it’s lowest level in over a decade.

According to the Washington Post, agents seized roughly 1.5 million pounds of marijuana at the border, which is down from a peak of nearly 4 million pounds in 2009.

There have been many stories about marijuana growers in Mexico facing hard times economically after increased competition from the north. Domestic marijuana production has increased in places like California, Colorado and Washington. This has caused marijuana prices to fall, especially at the bulk level.

A Mexican marijuana grower told NPR news in December 2014 that, “two or three years ago, a kilogram [2.2 pounds] of marijuana was worth $60 to $90.” He added that, “now they’re paying us $30 to $40 a kilo. It’s a big difference. If the U.S. continues to legalize pot, they’ll run us into the ground.”

Mexican growers are also facing pressure on the quality of their marijuana. Last year, the DEA wrote in its 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment that, "the quality of marijuana produced in Mexico and the Caribbean is thought to be inferior to the marijuana produced domestically in the United States or in Canada." The assessment continued: "Law enforcement reporting indicates that Mexican cartels are attempting to produce higher-quality marijuana to keep up with U.S. demand."

Although this is good news, according to the SF Gate, Mexican cartels are have begun to offset their lost revenue by producing more heroin and methamphetamines.

Here’s what Jesse Ventura has to say about the profits of marijuana:

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

Continue the Discussion