As the Obama administration presses Mexican President Felipe Calderon to stand firm in his costly, bloody military campaign against drug mafias, Mexican leaders are increasingly asking why their country should continue to attack cannabis traffickers and peasant pot farmers if the U.S. government is barely enforcing federal marijuana laws in the most populous state.
This debate grows more urgent as California prepares to vote in November on Proposition 19, a game-changing ballot initiative to legalize the recreational consumption of marijuana. According to the polls, the vote is tight.
Weary of spectacular violence and destabilizing corruption stoked by the prohibition against pot, some of Mexico’s most prominent figures are wondering aloud what legalization would do on their side of the drug war.
Marijuana smuggling and sales represent a roughly $10 billion business for Mexico’s drug mafias, which earn up to 60 percent of their profits from pot, according to U.S. estimates.
Fox said legalizing marijuana and other drugs “will allow us to hit and break apart the economic structure that allows the drug mafias to generate huge profits – profits they use to corrupt and increase their power.”
And which they will continue to use once the corrupt Mexican institutions facilitate their trade.
The article also states,
In contrast, the meticulously tended, genetically refined, ultra-potent marijuana typically sold in California dispensaries for $20 to $40 a gram is a cartel-free local product, Eugene Davidovich said. His San Diego dispensary, the Best Buds Collective, acquires its wares only from known providers, not Mexican smugglers, he said.
One question: Will the Mexican gangs want to take control of the domestic pot industry in the US and save on overhead and transportation?
“And I said to myself, ‘This is the business we’ve chosen.’”
Also at the Washington Post,
Calif. to vote on legalizing marijuana.