Cannabis 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.
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 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.”
Anything to establish a regulated legal market will necessarily cut into those profits. And it won’t be a viable business for the Mexican cartels — the same way bootleggers disappeared after prohibition fell. – Sean Dunagan, Former DEA Agent
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.
The DEA doesn’t want the drug war to end. 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.
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. They aren’t able to move as much cannabis inside the US now.
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 – Terry Nelson, Retired Federal Agent
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.
> Legal Pot in the US Is Crippling Mexican Cartels | VICE News