DISCLAIMER: This post is neither advocating nor promoting the growing, distribution, selling, or use of illicit substances. This is thread
is meant for the discussion of the War on Drugs and the effect of current events upon the Drug Cartels of Mexico and Columbia. Please keep discussions
On Topic to prevent the thread from being locked for further discussion. Thank you.
It appears that the War on Drugs found a unexpected new ally in crippling the Drug Cartels of Mexico and Columbia...that being the 13 U.S. states
which now permit some legal use of medical marijuana.
Competition Clips Cartels
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
Illicit pot production in the United States has been increasing steadily for decades. But recent changes in state laws that allow the use and
cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes are giving U.S. growers a competitive advantage, challenging the traditional dominance of the Mexican
traffickers, who once made brands such as Acapulco Gold the standard for quality.
Almost all of the marijuana consumed in the multibillion-dollar U.S. market once came from Mexico or Colombia. Now as much as half is produced
domestically, often by small-scale operators who painstakingly tend greenhouses and indoor gardens to produce the more potent, and expensive, product
that consumers now demand, according to authorities and marijuana dealers on both sides of the border.
The shifting economics of the marijuana trade have broad implications for Mexico's war against the drug cartels, suggesting that market forces, as
much as law enforcement, can extract a heavy price from criminal organizations that have used the spectacular profits generated by pot sales to fuel
the violence and corruption that plague the Mexican state.
Until recently, over 60% (8.6 Billion US dollars) of the Mexican and Columbian Drug Cartels revenue was based on the illegal sale of marijuana in the
United States. Cartels from these two countries held almost 100% of the marijuana market in the United States. Now, their market share, and their
profits have been cut roughly in half because of legal domestic medical marijuana growers in 13 U.S. states!
This is a major turn of events for both the United States, Mexico and Columbia.
More importantly, this is the most significant decrease in the Drug Cartels revenue and operations to date in the War on Drugs...and it wasn't even a
planned operation by Law Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the D.E.A., or the Military!
In over 40 years since the U.S. first got involved in the War on Drugs, we have spent in excess of $2.5 trillion dollars fighting this War. Despite
the ad campaigns, increased incarceration rates, crackdown on smuggling, and using military intervention against the Cartels, the revenue of the
Cartels, as well as the number of drug users in the U.S. have both steadily inclined, while violence escalated. Through the past 40 years the War on
Drugs has been at best a stalemate, and at worst, a complete and utter failure.
For the first time in 40 years, a powerful blow has been struck against the Cartels where it mattered most...in their pocketbooks. With half the
revenue, Cartels will find it far more difficult to run operations, finally giving Law Enforcement, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the D.E.A., and
the Military in Mexico and Columbia the upper-hand. All because 13 of 50 states cut demand for the Cartel's main product by legalizing it's use and
growth under limited circumstances.
However, the Cartels have not remained idle while their bottom line has been threatened. Their growing operations have begun to move from Mexico and
Columbia to within the United States itself, and spread from it's traditional locations in the SW and Western States to Michigan, Arkansas, and North
Carolina while they struggle to find ways to compete in a dwindling market for their once primary source of revenue. This could bode ill for Americans
who were previously distantly removed from the epic violence and corruption that plague Mexico and Columbia. The implications of the Cartels moving
their primary growth operations to the United States to remain competitive is yet to be seen.
However, it is clear that the Mexican and Colombian Cartels are getting desperate and scared. As more states consider legalizing the use and growth of
their main product under limited circumstances, they can expect to see their market share and profits continue to drop even further.
Still, it is good news to know that they are feeling the pinch and that their dominance, violence and corruption that they spread to protect their
economic interests may begin to ebb, allowing countries like the U.S. to decrease illicit drug use and related crimes, while allowing countries like
Mexico and Columbia to regain stability that has suffered at the hands of Cartel violence.
[edit on 16-10-2009 by fraterormus]