Thursday, October 15, 2009
In Northern California the growing of Marijuana has been a way of life for many families for a long time. The number of "Mom-and-Pop" grow operations are countless, and the number is becoming larger every day. The Washington Post states, "stiff competition from thousands of mom-and-pop marijuana farmers in the United States threatens the bottom line for powerful Mexican drug organizations in a way that decades of arrests and seizures have not, according to law enforcement officials and pot growers in the United States and Mexico". With more than half of the marijuana smoked in the United States now being grown domestically, it has become a serious burden upon the Mexican cartels. Now, the cartels face an economic battle with Californian pot growers!
The majority of all pot, up until recently, was grown in Mexico and Columbia; this allowed the cartels to maintain dominance of the trade for many years. Now that laws in the United States are becoming more relaxed as we approach potential legalization, the U.S. growers are severely cutting Mexican profits. "While the trafficking of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine is the main focus of U.S. law enforcement, it is marijuana that has long provided most of the revenue for Mexican drug cartels. More than 60 percent of the cartels' revenue -- $8.6 billion out of $13.8 billion in 2006 -- came from U.S. marijuana sales, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy", reports the Washington Post. Cutting as much as 60 percent of the cartels profit could do great things for the war on drugs. It is yet to be seen if this trend will hold, but, it seems very likely.
Marijuana is an addictive drug and should not be overlooked or even considered a good thing compared to other drugs. However, the war on drugs continues and the death toll keeps rising. If legalizing marijuana is what it takes to fight the cartels, then it should be something everyone in America considers long and hard. In almost half a century we have not been able to come up with any kind of solution that has worked in curbing the cartels in their deadly game. It may be time to consider what is the lesser of two evils; growing and consuming marijuana or countless dead bodies? No matter what, a solution to the drug war needs to be found.