Legal Marijuana Takes A Bite Out Of Drug Cartels by Paul Jacob, Foundation For Economic Education
The Drug War Created the Cartels; Legalization Can End Them
Has the War on Drugs actually, finally, made some progress?
At the 2021 SALT New York conference, which was held earlier this week, one of the panels on the main stage discussed the best macro shifts coming out of the pandemic and investing in value amid distress. The panel featured: Todd Lemkin, the chief investment officer of Canyon Partners; Peter Wallach, the managing director and Read More
Well, yes — but, really, no.
“Legal marijuana may be doing at least one thing that a decades-long drug war couldn’t,” explains Christopher Ingraham in the Washington Post’s Wonkblog: “taking a bite out of Mexican drug cartels’ profits.”
Certainly “legal marijuana” is not the drug war. It’s that war’s antithesis.
Let’s recall, too, that legalization didn’t come about after five decades of drug war failure because politicians came to their senses, admitted their mistakes and advocated a different approach.
Instead, frustrated citizen leaders teamed up with successful entrepreneurs to launch ballot initiatives, allowing voters to directly decide the issue.
Domestic production isn’t driven merely by Colorado, Oregon, Washington State and the other Washington, the nation’s capital, where voters fully legalized possession. Marijuana for medical use is legal in 23 states, including California, where most domestic marijuana is grown. In these states, pot is widely prescribed.
Thus, a quasi-legal domestic marijuana industry was created. Lo and behold, now pot produced in the good old USA is outperforming pot grown south of the border.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) acknowledges that U.S. marijuana is being illegally smuggled into Mexico. (Maybe the smugglers will pay for the wall.)
On the other hand, what does it matter that the Mexican drug cartels are losing market share to non-violent American businesses?
Well, those cartels have waged a war with the Mexican government killing more than 164,000 citizens between 2007 and 2014. Less profit to fuel the Mexican drug lords in that bloody war is more for our peace and security.