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:
Most Popular Slideshows
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series - Game 2: Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
- NFL Thursday Recap - Denver Broncos 35, San Diego Chargers 21: Peyton Manning Has 3 TDs In Easy Win [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 3: Kansas City Royals 3, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Australia's Low Birth Rate May Be Due to Low Confidence in Economy
- Fears Of Infection Spread Prompt Some US Hospitals To Refuse Ebola Patients
- Readers Slam a Book Showing That US Wealth And Power Rests on Slave Labour
- LG G Watch R To Be Available Globally Starting With Europe, North America And Asia Through Retail Sites And Play Store
- Young Teen Fighter Says ISIS Uses Drugs On Suicide Bombers To Get Them Perform The Act
- Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Verizon Motorola Droid Turbo Leaked Live Images Surfaces, Scheduled To Get Unveiled On Oct 28
- Update HTC One M7 with LG G2 with Android 4.4.2 as Sprint OTA: Fixes and Installation
- U.S. Targets Buyers of ISIS Oil, Threatens Sanctions
- ISIS Syria Airstrike Bombing Has Killed 550 People, Civilians Included
- Russia Blocking OSCE Monitoring Of Its Border With Ukraine
- Russia Slams US 'Double Standards' In The Fight Against ISIS