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Legalization of Marijuana Has Impeded the Cartel Activity

April 11, 2015  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Legalization of Marijuana Has Impeded the Cartel Activity

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Long prison sentences, seizures of large quantities of Illegal narcotics and mass arrests by law enforcement has done little to impede the movement of drugs into the United States. The War on Drugs has failed to Stem the influence of the drug trafficking organizations or the drug-dealing gangs in the U.S., many of whom control drug operations from behind bars.

The most successful proven weapon in any war on drugs has become legalization, and now there are numbers to validate the argument.

With states like Colorado and Washington legalizing cannabis, linked with the expansion of medical marijuana programs and other states softening penalties for marijuana violations. Legalization has reduced drug cartel revenue contrived from the trafficking of marijuana.

Because of the availability of cannabis through legalization, marijuana trafficking, and the violent occurrences connected with it are down.

According to Time Magazine: “The confiscation amounts of marijuana have finally fallen. U.S. Border Patrol are now seizing much smaller quantities of the drug on a steady basis. In 2011, Border Patrol confiscated 2.5 million pounds of marijuana. The number of seizures in 2014 fell to 1.9 million pounds.”

In Mexico, legalization has had even a bigger effect. In 2014, the Mexican Military seized 664 tons of marijuana, which is a 32% decrease from 2013.

The lower numbers correlate with the production of high-quality, special exotic strains produced in the legalized states, which are superior to the cartel provided brick weed. In addition, eliminating the risks of obtaining the drug illegally on the street has also led to the sharp decline in the numbers.

Time Magazine lists statistics from a study conducted by the ArcView group, which is a cannabis investment and research firm. ArcView says the legalized marijuana industry in the United States increased 74 percent in 2014 to $2.7 billion and projected the number to reach over $4 billion by the year 2016. That equates to less money for the cartels to buy arms and pay off corrupt officials.

The legalization industry have forced the narco-syndicates to shift the focus of the trafficking business to the heroin, methamphetamines, and cocaine markets. The organized crime groups have also increased activities in other illegal trades such as oil theft, kidnapping, and human trafficking, to supplement the loss in revenue.

Although there has been a decline in narco-related violence, Monday’s brutal cartel ambush, which left 15 state security officers dead, is a reminder of the significant threat still posed by the cartels.

Marijuana trafficking still produces a third of the cartels profits. But if the statistical trend continues in the long term, the drug trafficking organizations will not be able to compete with the high-quality tax and regulated business of the legal industry.

“The competitive advantage of the criminal drug syndicates derives In an industry where violence and intimidation are needed to succeed, none of which are essential to compete in legal markets.” Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Drug Policy Alliance, told Fusion.

He added: “Some would expect the more sophisticated drug-trafficking organizations to adjust to the marijuana legalization market in the U.S. However, they eventually will not be able to compete with a legalized industry. The same was for Al Capone, and the bootlegging gangs who ultimately lost out to a legally regulated alcohol industry.”

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