Election 2012: Mexican Cartels to Lose Billions if Marijuana Legalized
By Eli Epstein | November 7, 2012 2:05 AM EST
When state voters hit the polls Tuesday in Washington, Oregon, and Colorado, a lot more will be at stake than just Romney and Obama.
In those states, citizens will decide whether to legalize marijuana or not, which, if the measures pass, could be a devastating blow to Mexican drug cartels who pocket billions from exporting marijuana into the United States.
According to a report, via Quartz, by researchers at the Mexican think-tank the Mexican Center for Competitiveness (IMCO), marijuana legalization in those three American states would be “the biggest structural shock suffered by drug trafficking in Mexico since the massive arrival of cocaine in the late eighties.”
The IMCO and the Rand Corporation estimate that cartels earn $6 billion each year from bringing marijuana into the US. If ballot proposals are passed, that could slash total cartel income by 20 percent. Washington, where the legalization measure is most likely to pass, could take an estimated $1.37 billion out of the cartels’ pockets.
With domestically grown, premium, and cheaper marijuana grown right on America's doorstep, cartels and other illegal foreign distributors would be driven out of the pot market due to the rising cost and unprofitability of their operation.
While that scenario seems ideal, it’s unlikely to take root as a whole, anytime soon.
That’s because the federal government doesn’t want it to. All was well and good when states were distributing marijuana to their own citizens, but once states began licensing growers and entrepreneurs started shipping pot over state lines, the feds got involved.
What began as a crackdown against intrastate distribution soon became a full-court press against any state trying to build a regulatory economy for marijuana. This is exactly what the IMCO warns could empower cartels — the federal government limiting the states’ legalization efforts.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Join the Conversation
- Plane Freezes in Russian Arctic, Passengers Push (WATCH VIDEO)
- With Falling Oil Prices All Eyes On OPEC Meeting
- This Is How Obesity Weighs Down Global Economy By 2 Trillion Dollars Every Year
- Consumer Alert: Retailer Simons Goes Out Of Quebec, To Open Five Stores Across Canada
- Signs That You Are A Smartphone Zombie (And The Dangers This Poses)
- Black Friday And Cyber Monday Sale 2014: AT&T's Cricket Wireless Offers Discounts On Lumia 1320, Galaxy S5, S4 And HTC Desire 510
- ISIS Kidnaps Iraqi Defence Minister’s Family, Executes Female Parliament Candidates
- '$2,000 For Sex'—Pleads Unlucky-in-Love Guy On OKCupid
- Target’s ‘Surprise Doorbusters’ Black Friday 2014 Deals On TV Sets, Entertainment Centres, DVD Players And More
- Google Joins Forces with GoPro Inc with New Google Maps Focusing on Destination
- Lumia Update Will Come Soon Confirms Microsoft
- T-Mobile’s Black Friday 2014 Deals On Apple iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy Note 4/Edge, Nexus 6, HTC One M8, LG G3, iPad Air 2 And Mini 3