Should Marijuana Continue To Be A Casualty Of The ‘War On Drugs?’

Now that?more and more states have decriminalized and in some cases completely legalized the sale of marijuana, Mexican cartels are reported to have been significantly hamstrung by the loss of revenue. The results in those states who chose legalization have been so overwhelmingly positive, two more states and our nation’s capitol elected to legalize in the recent mid-term elections. In light of these facts, is there a good reason not to legalize on the national level?

The Cartels Don’t Want Legalization

How much impact has legalization had on Mexican cartels? Even before the newest round of legalized states begin growing and distributing locally, the price for Mexican growers has dropped from $100 to less than $25 per kilo.

?’It’s not worth it anymore,? said Rodrigo Silla, 50, a lifelong cannabis farmer who said he couldn’t remember the last time his family and others in their tiny hamlet gave up growing mota. ‘I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization.’??The Washington Post

Marijuana (Photo courtesy of WikiMedia)

And after Alaska and Oregon’s new laws go into effect, the price is sure to drop even more. The end result is that the cartels are no longer interested in growing cannabis. After all, they’re in it for the money. So in order to make up the revenue, they are instead switching those fields over to the growth of opium poppies. Heroin, at least, is still illegal in America.

But?more production without a significant growth in demand equals lower heroin prices. After all, it does them no good to grow it if they aren’t moving it. That’s good news for buyers, but still bad news for the cartels. Those lower prices impact profits even more.

Not convinced? Retired federal agent Terry Nelson, a former field level agent, told VICE News,

?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.? VICE News

But why does any of the matter? Why should the cartels losing money have an affect on government policy?

The DEA Needs An Enemy

The DEA exists to wage the war on drugs. Once the war is over, all the funding they now receive will be allocated elsewhere. Is it any wonder that DEA head Michele Leonhart recently stated that in spite of state legalization, the DEA still considered marijuana, both recreational and medical, a schedule I illegal drug? ?Legalization is a threat to her job and her power.

The ‘War on Drugs’ may be the least successful governmental initiative in US history. The result after more than 40 years is that?America is now the reigning world leader in illegal drug use, 40% of all drug arrests made are for marijuana possession only, and the US spends $51 billion a year fighting a battle they have proven over and over they cannot win. With all that the ‘War on Drugs’ has done, and perhaps more significantly hasn’t done, is there a valid reason for the government to continue throwing good money after bad?

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