How Marijuana Legalization in America is Destroying Mexican Drug Cartel Business

30 comments

Posted on 14th May 2014 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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Looks like SSS was wrong again. What a shocker.

Guest Post by Mike Krieger

Nothing is more amusing (and sad) than when I see some ignorant out of stater commenting about how nightmarish the legalization of marijuana has been for Colorado. The most high-profile and hilarious example of this came from disgraced New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who I have criticized sharply on several occasions, here, here and here.He foolishly spouted some hysterical nonsense last month when he said:

“See if you want to live in a major city in Colorado, where there’s head shops popping up on every corner and people flying into your airport just to come and get high. To me, it’s just not the quality of life we want to have here in the state of New Jersey and there’s no tax revenue that’s worth that.”

Honestly, what planet does this clown live on? As someone who actually lives in Colorado, I can tell you that the only thing that has changed since legalization is that there is a greater sense of freedom and people are no longer getting arrested in droves for non-violent drug possession charges. Let’s not forget that the police arrest someone every two seconds in America, many of which are for mere drug possession charges. Apparently, Christie thinks this is a good thing and ultimately results in this mythical wonderful “quality of life” that apparently exists in some corner of New Jersey where rainbow farting unicorns roam the countryside.

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 11.51.11 AM

As someone who spent nearly three decades in the New York metro area, and who has lived in Colorado now for over three years, I can tell you there’s no comparison. I’ve met many, many people who have intentionally left New Jersey for Colorado, yet I’ve never met a single person who has intentionally left Colorado for New Jersey. Perhaps that person exists and is currently flying back east on his unicorn and is therefore unavailable for comment.

Anyway, while we are on the topic, the Huffington Post posted a great article comparing the two states. They note:

Business climate: It turns out Colorado is a great place for business, ranking seventh out of the 50 states in a 2013 study from CNBC that took into consideration metrics like economy, infrastructure and the cost of doing business. New Jersey came in 42nd.

Forbes agrees, listing Colorado as the fifth best state for “business and careers.” New Jersey comes in 32nd on the Forbes list.

Economic growth and job creation: FreeEnterprise.com gathered data on just how well the 50 states do at creating jobs and fostering economic growth. They ranked Colorado second in the nation for innovation and entrepreneurship (New Jersey was 14th), 14th in economic performance (New Jersey came in at 33rd), and eighth for business climate (New Jersey was 49th).

The state of the states: Politico recently gathered various data points from the Census Bureau, the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and incorporated them with a slew of other factors, including income, high school graduation rates, life expectancy and more. In their subsequent ranking of the 50 states, Colorado came in seventh overall, while New Jersey came in 12th.

General well-being: The health care company Healthways partnered up with Gallup in 2013 to evaluate well-being across the United States. Looking at residents’ habits and behavior, emotional and physical health, work environments and more, they determined that Colorado ranks seventh in overall well-being. New Jersey comes in 23rd.

Furthermore, the city I currently live in was recently ranked the most fit city in all of America, and 3 of the top 10 cities were in Colorado. New Jersey had no cities in the top ten. Although to be fair, Christie probably skews the data quite a bit. See the rankings here.

Technology and science: The Milken Institute, a California think tank, recently took a close look at how states foster growth in technology and science, two areas that will likely prove key to the United States’ economic recovery. Colorado was ranked fourth in the nation. New Jersey was ranked 15th.

Chris Christie is clearly an ill informed blowhard and let’s not forget this guy wants to become President. How scary is that?

Moving along to the meat of this piece, Vice recently published a great article explaining how the legalization of pot is causing Mexican drug cartels to reduce plantings of marijuana and it also describes the frighteningly irrational response from the DEA. It reports that:

Marijuana has accounted for nearly half of all total drug arrests in the US for the past 20 years, according to the FBI’s crime statistics. And according to the Department of Justice (DOJ), a large portion of the US illegal drug market is controlled directly by Mexican cartels. The DOJ’s National Drug Intelligence Center, which has since been shut down, found in 2011 that the top cartels controlled the majority of drug trade in marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine in over 1,000 US cities.

Now, those cartels and their farmers complain that marijuana legalization is hurting their business. And some reports could suggest that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is more interested in helping to protect the Mexican cartels’ hold on the pot trade than in letting it dissipate. The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that pot farmers in the Sinaloa region have stopped planting due to a massive drop in wholesale prices, from $100 per kilo down to only $25. One farmer is quoted as saying: “It’s not worth it anymore. I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization.”

“Is it hurting the cartels? Yes. The cartels are criminal organizations that were making as much as 35-40 percent of their income from marijuana,” Nelson said, “They aren’t able to move as much cannabis inside the US now.”

In 2012, a study by the Mexican Competitiveness Institute found that US state legalization would cut into cartel business and take over about 30 percent of their market.

Given the DEA’s historic relationship with the Sinaloa cartel, and the agency’s fury over legalized marijuana, it almost seems like the DEA wants to crush the legal weed market in order to protect the interests of their cartel friends. Almost.

Not almost, that is exactly what they want to do.

“The DEA doesn’t want the drug war to end,” said Nelson, when asked about a possible connection between the agency’s hatred of legal pot and its buddies in Sinaloa. “If it ends, they don’t get their toys and their budgets. Once it ends, they aren’t going to have the kind of influence in foreign government. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but where there’s smoke there’s probably fire.”

The Sinaloa cartel came to prominence in January when the “Fast and Furious” scandal surfaced, in which it was revealed that DEA agents ignored Sinaloa drug shipments and essentially granted immunity to cartel criminals in exchange for information.

Another way the DEA tries to shut down legal marijuana dispensaries, and medical marijuana clinics, is through the banks. While large banks like HSBC and Wachovia have gotten away with laundering billions in cartel drug money, famously referred to as “too big to jail” by Attorney General Eric Holder, banks have been meticulously instructed by the DEA not to work with any kind of marijuana facility.

That’s pennies compared to what the US spends on the drug war. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, we spend $51 billion per year fighting illegal drugs. A 2010 study by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron found that not only would the US save tremendous amounts of money were it to end drug prohibition, legalizing could bring in an additional $46.7 billion in yearly tax revenue.

“We’ve spent 1.3 trillion since 1972 on the drug war. What have we gotten for that? Drugs are cheaper and easier to get than ever before,” Nelson told VICE News.

For more evidence of the insane mindset permeating the DEA, check out this article that shows how the agency seized hemp seed from Kentucky as state universities attempted to participate in legal studies.

The DEA has no idea what to do with itself now that the population of innocent citizens it can harass for exercising a personal choice and the amount of bribe money it can extract from drug cartels dissipates. Bottom line is that people want drugs, and as long as that’s the case, no petty authoritarian wearing a badge and a costume on some misguided moral crusade will change that.

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

30 Comments
  1. Wyoming Mike says:

    OK SSS, tell us again how more people in prison creates jobs, thereby, growing the economy.

    14th May 2014 at 5:09 pm

  2. flash says:

    ..but if mary hoochie is legalized , it will only create a black market for the drug, as opposed to the illegal market that now exists….so to speak.

    14th May 2014 at 5:22 pm

  3. SSS says:

    “Another way the DEA tries to shut down legal marijuana dispensaries, and medical marijuana clinics, is through the banks.”
    —-from the article

    Total bullshit. The banks and credit unions, any and all including the teensy ones, don’t do business with anyone tied to the legal marijuana businesses for one simple reason: it’s still against federal law. DOJ even tried to issue guidelines to financial institutions to encourage them to do business with the legal marijuana industry. Didn’t work. Guidelines aren’t law. DEA has NOTHNG to do with this.

    14th May 2014 at 6:16 pm

  4. Chicago999444 says:

    David Stockman wrote an even more articulate article at his Contra Corner site, which I am surprised you did not run here:

    http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/good-riddance-to-the-nanny-states-massive-mindless-and-monumentally-meretricious-war-on-drugs/

    I have always maintained that if we ended the drug prohibition, and unwound the laws prohibiting not only marijuana but the heavier street drugs, shootings and other violent crime in our major cities would decrease by 75%.

    I would support ending drug prohibition completely, and putting in its place a multi-tiered regulatory system such as we have for liquor and tobacco, that recognizes differing levels of impairment and destruction. Pot could be sold on the same terms as liquor, while the heavy, destructive stuff could be obtained at clinics and used under supervision, the idea being to make it cheap and easy enough for addicts to obtain, that they are no longer motivated to push someone like me off a train platform to get the money for the crap.

    It has been proven many times, liquor prohibition being the best test case, that prohibition not only does not prevent people from using, but actually increases use. The prohibited substance acquires a “forbidden fruit” aura, making it vastly more attractive to immature young people than it otherwise would be, and making a ready market for drug dealers.

    The case of liquor prohibition was especially interesting because of its effect on women. Women are not, categorically speaking, drinkers. We really don’t like the crap, beyond a couple of glasses of white wine, a fruity mixed drink like a PIna Colada or some similar confection, or a cordial after dinner, and prior to Prohibition, a glass of sherry was usually the limit of the average woman’s liquor consumption. But when Prohibition went into effect, drinking heavily became trendy, just to show how sophisticated and “daring” you were. My grandmother, who was in her teens at that time, remembered how she and every other girl she knew, had a thigh flask filled with somebody’s home-made bathtub liquor. She and her friends could not afford the nice stuff smuggled from Canada, of course. Since prohibition, female drinking and rates of alcoholism have remained higher than before it, though they are lower than they were during it.

    14th May 2014 at 6:20 pm

  5. SSS says:

    Smoke pot? Got a job in Colorado? Consider this, maggots. I tried to warn you. And this info comes from a PRO POT WEBSITE.

    —————————————————————————

    As recreational cannabis sales begin Jan. 1, one fact is sometimes overlooked: Employers still can fire workers for using it on- or off-duty. State law gives employers full authority to impose any drug prohibitions they wish, despite it being legal in Colorado for adults to possess and consume marijuana.

    “Employers hold all the cards,” said Curtis Graves, a staff attorney for the Mountain States Employers Council. So you smoke only off-duty? Not good enough. Consuming just at home provides no protection if your workplace drug test comes back positive for marijuana.

    “Right now there is a great deal of confusion,” said attorney Danielle Urban of labor-law firm Fisher & Phillips in Denver. “People are surprised to learn that they can lose their jobs.”

    Amid the euphoria of approving legal pot, some cannabis enthusiasts may have overlooked a key piece of fine print in Amendment 64. Nothing in the law will “affect the ability of employers to have policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees,” the amendment states. That includes getting high at work or even after hours, according to legal experts and judicial rulings.

    14th May 2014 at 8:27 pm

  6. SSS says:

    “OK SSS, tell us again how more people in prison creates jobs, thereby, growing the economy.”
    —-Wyoming Mike

    Fuck you, Mike. I’ve never, ever made a statement remotely associated with that assertion. People who put words in my mouth really piss me off.

    14th May 2014 at 8:31 pm

  7. El Coyote says:

    You cut off one profit avenue and they will increase meth and coke smuggling. Therefore, Americans will be sucking more dick in public toilets AND cutting off their own dicks.

    Stop the madness, I’d rather watch the Michael Vick story than the Michael Sam story.
    I hope I don’t offend any dick-sucking faggots, that is not my intent.

    14th May 2014 at 9:09 pm

  8. Kill Bill says:

    Thats weird, Coyote, when I see a gay man I dont see dick sucking.

    Its not my life, but then, why do you imagine this?

    14th May 2014 at 9:24 pm

  9. SSS says:

    “You cut off one profit avenue and they (the Mexican cartels) will increase meth and coke smuggling.”
    —-El Coyote

    Bingo. You forgot heroin. Meth, coke, and heroin are the biggest profit makers for the both Mexican and Colombian traffickers. Marijuana’s profit margin may decrease, but it won’t disappear.

    14th May 2014 at 9:26 pm

  10. Chicago999444 says:

    SSS– so people can lose their jobs for smoking pot on the job, even though it’s legal.

    So what? Liquor is legal, but if you drink on the job, you can legally be fired.

    What is the problem?

    14th May 2014 at 9:31 pm

  11. Zarathustra says:

    SSS says:

    “OK SSS, tell us again how more people in prison creates jobs, thereby, growing the economy.”
    —-Wyoming Mike

    Fuck you, Mike. I’ve never, ever made a statement remotely associated with that assertion. People who put words in my mouth really piss me off.
    ________________________________

    SSS, get pissed off more often. It’s endearing.

    14th May 2014 at 9:40 pm

  12. ottomatik says:

    SSS
    The article makes some good points even being spawned from a pro pot rag. It also touches on a very sensative subject, the border. How is it that our federal masters are absolutely rigid with a fear that terrorist’s will destroy America, requiring a mind boggling budget and sacrifice of the constitution to protect us, yet the border is wide open, wide. Best way to get terrorists or nukes into the US? Hide them in drugs. literally tons of them come in. What of the DEA? Our War on Drugs is generational, 1.2 trillion, in all of those years, shouldent it have occured to them that effective control of the border would massively reduce product? It occured to all us peon voters, multiple times the (supposed) money has been put aside, to only meet complete lack of action and pilfering of the funds, no one in the Federal Government wants the border closed or Drugs legalized, anathma to existence. Legalize them all. Put the doctors in charge, its the only viable solution to try.

    14th May 2014 at 10:20 pm

  13. Solidum says:

    Here’s the good news: the pot you can buy in Colorado is amazingly potent. It is a much cleaner high than the open pollinated swag that is shipped in from beaner land.

    14th May 2014 at 10:50 pm

  14. SSS says:

    “Looks like SSS was wrong again. What a shocker.”
    —-Admin’s lead in comments to the article

    In the paraphrased words of Yogi Berra, “I’m not wrong until I’m wrong.”

    Jesus Christ. The fucking marijuana law in Colorado is less than 5 months old. 5 fucking months!! I specifically said in my criticism of the law a couple of months ago, right here on TBP, that it might initially achieve some measure of success, but will ultimately fail. And it will. Badly. Do you think I have a crystal ball that gives me an exact time frame?

    Furthermore, I understand Admin’s appreciation of Mike Krieger and his invaluable help with countering the criminal attack on this site. I really do and add …. “Thanks, Mike. Without your assistance to TBP, I wouldn’t be able to write the following to you.”

    Your article is a piece of shit. You focus more than half the article on bashing New Jersey, which is a good thing, BTW. Then when you get around to Colorado’s marijuana law, you sing the praises of the pro-pot crowd and add anecdotal statements and poorly documented sources. Total, utter bullshit. All of it. Your pal, SSS.

    14th May 2014 at 11:10 pm

  15. solidum says:

    We’re talking one rip off a bong and you’re good for the night. Gone are the days of smoking a joint and then groggily munching down a bag of doritos- this stuff makes you want to play chess or somesuch. I highly recommend taking a trip to CO and sampling the various flavors.

    14th May 2014 at 11:31 pm

  16. SSS says:

    “Legalize them (drugs) all. Put the doctors in charge, its the only viable solution to try.”
    —-ottomatik

    Doctors treat problems AFTER the fact, AFTER the drug addict has already done damage to himself, those close to him, and his community in general. That’s not a solution. It’s a reaction.

    14th May 2014 at 11:33 pm

  17. SSS says:

    “The pot you can buy in Colorado is amazingly potent…….. We’re talking one rip off a bong and you’re good for the night.”
    —-solidum

    Glad it took you just two separate comments to make that statement. Party on, Garth.

    14th May 2014 at 11:40 pm

  18. El Coyote says:

    Kill Bill says:

    “Thats weird, Coyote, when I see a gay man I dont see dick sucking. Its not my life, but then, why do you imagine this?”

    I have no proof. Why does AWD imagine fat people eat a lot and vegetate on a couch?

    14th May 2014 at 11:41 pm

  19. SSS says:

    “SSS– so people can lose their jobs for smoking pot on the job, even though it’s legal. So what? Liquor is legal, but if you drink on the job, you can legally be fired. What is the problem?”
    —-Chicago999444

    Drunks are easy to detect, that’s what’s the problem. You can SMELL someone who’s been drinking. Pot smokers? Not so much. Tic Tacs or cigarettes can remove or mask the smell factor. Dilated pupils are the big giveaway.

    14th May 2014 at 11:56 pm

  20. El Coyote says:

    Alcohol abuse can lead to many health issues.
    Who can say smoking ganja is safe when you are putting smoke in your lungs?
    Phoenix had a billboard campaign to illustrate the rapid decay of meth users.

    Legalizing drug use is not an answer any more than promoting alternative lifestyles in schools will reduce depravity. Don’t get me wrong, I am in favor of same-species marriage. What i mean is legalization only makes intoxication seem normal and socially acceptable like drinking at kids parties.

    15th May 2014 at 12:20 am

  21. Anonymous says:

    SSS: “Dilated pupils are the big giveaway”

    bullshit regarding responsible consumer behavior. maybe that was true in the 70′s when the hippies used to mix any shit in their joints, like mushrooms, LSD, mdma or who knows what.

    15th May 2014 at 1:55 am

  22. Tim says:

    I think the issue of employer-mandated drug testing is a non-issue, a straw man.

    In a truly libertarian society, that’s how it SHOULD work. For instance, I work for a construction company. They’ve proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that employees that use drugs on a construction site cause more accidents. [And, for the purpose of this discussion, I mean at work or at home] Accidents cause insurance costs to go up. My employer wants the best prices he can get on insurance and doesn’t want to spend any more than he has to spend. So, the company has a random drug screening process to eliminate the drug users, over time.

    Thus, it becomes an entirely voluntary arrangement. People that own companies have the right to determine how their companies are run. If a random drug-testing program helps the employer to reduce costs, then good for him. Now, the choice is mine. Do I want to stay with the company? If I think the rewards are worth it, yes, I do. If getting high is more important to me, then I leave and find another situation where the corporate culture is more pot-friendly. It’s simple, really.

    Using the argument to demonstrate the ineffectiveness or unfairness of the new law is ridiculous. If you want to smoke the herb, fine. But don’t bitch because your employer chooses to run their own company the way that’s best for them.

    15th May 2014 at 6:39 am

  23. ottomatik says:

    SSS
    “Doctors treat problems AFTER the fact, AFTER the drug addict has already done damage to himself, those close to him, and his community in general. That’s not a solution. It’s a reaction.”

    My point was to expand the dispensary phenomena to all drugs. Make the Cocaine market prescription based. After doctor consultation you get your script, for a set amount, and required check ups,(BEFORE use) over use will require subsequent check ins at rehab. It seems most drug use is a medical problem to be treated by physicians not law enforcement. The industries that arise requiring law enforcement are purely the result of the black market. We will still need some law enforcement and black markets will still arise but substantially reduced. Look at Oxy or Aderol, same thing. We need a smarter approach.
    That open border is a funny thing, makes one wonder, dosent it? I would like your opinion, living so close to it.

    15th May 2014 at 9:36 am

  24. Kill Bill says:

    Why does AWD imagine fat people eat a lot and vegetate on a couch?

    AWD can’t walk down the street without imagining someone is out to get him.

    He obsesses over obese people to the point he goes out of his way to find pictures of them and post them all the while claiming how disgusting they are.

    15th May 2014 at 10:01 am

  25. Kill Bill says:

    Thats BS. I have worked in construction, stupidity causes accidents, whether they are drunk or high is secondary to the former.

    I had a supervisor, once, that attempted to drive a forklift under the wing of a DC-8, I was in the forward E&E bay at the time and got tossed around pretty good when that forklift hit the leading edge of the wing sending the nose-wheel several feet to the left, the EE bay was directly behind that.

    And he wasn’t smoking dope or even use it.

    15th May 2014 at 10:08 am

  26. TE says:

    IN, you are right about stupidity for sure.

    But, it is absolutely the employer’s right to set his own terms of employment. Personally I would be more afraid of ny roofer being on Prozac, or Xanax, or Chantix, than the guy that burns at night. Hell, a good hangover would truly be more danger.

    Having said that, I still absolutely support the boss’s decision. His sand box, his toys, his rules.

    Prohibition has never worked, it enriches the state and the evil elite while destroying the victims.

    You either support our God given right to use the plants he created, or you support the evil that grows more powerful by the day.

    For me there is no middle. And I know no argument, the need to control others just runs way too deep in most.

    15th May 2014 at 10:25 am

  27. TE says:

    Oops, stupid autocorrect, that was for KB, not IN…

    15th May 2014 at 10:26 am

  28. TPC says:

    @SSS – “but will ultimately fail”

    Its analogous to the end of prohibition, I sincerely doubt it will ever be criminalized again, especially once TPTB realize that they can control the masses through the simple expedient of legalizing pot.

    The US won’t break down in Civil War during this 4T, instead we will have a substantial war with the East. As the 4T winds down pot will be added to our bread and circuses and it will be another 80 years of slow decline as obese idiots chomp on wacky tabaccy while watching endless “reality” TV.

    15th May 2014 at 10:52 am

  29. Hallie says:

    How is it that when heroin, pot and cocaine were NOT criminalized, the crime rate, addiction rate and gang activity were very low in comparison to today?

    Weed, Booze, Cocaine and Other Old School “Medicine” Ads
    http://www.pharmacytechs.net/blog/old-school-medicine-ads/

    15th May 2014 at 1:44 pm

  30. Frenchie says:

    If I remember well, it was possible to buy cocaïne and pot in the French pharmacies in the 20′s, and beside this people were allowed to bring their rifles (picked up on the battlefields) to public events: It wasn’t unusual to see a shooting contests after a football match in the stadium!
    in short, everybody was high, was drunk, everybody had guns and no one got hurt.
    criminality was maybe 10% of current stats

    so what’s fucking wrong?

    we had no grey dagos. case closed

    15th May 2014 at 5:20 pm

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