Marijuana Votes Have Mexicans Talking Legalization

With US public support for marijuana legalization now at the 50% mark, and state legalization efforts now starting to come to fruition, people are naturally talking about it. Academics at RAND and elsewhere recently came out with a book, "Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know," discussing the wide range of issues impacted by legalization and that will come into play affecting how it will play out. (We are sending out copies of this book, complimentary with donations, by the way.)

Spanish-language infographic from the Mexican Institute for Competitives marijuana legalization report
One of the most interesting discussions going on is about how legalization in Washington and Colorado will affect Mexico. We reported yesterday that Mexico's incoming administration plans to reassess Mexico's fight against drugs, which has cost the country dearly in lost life. Luis Videgaray, a key advisor to President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto, assures that the president continues to oppose legalization, according to the AP. Nevertheless, other Mexican voices are raising the legalization question with increased intensity.

"It seems to me that we should move to authorize exports," [governor of the the violence-plagued border state of Chihuahaha Cesar] Duarte [an ally of Pena Nieto] told Reuters in an interview. "We would therefore propose organizing production for export, and with it no longer being illegal, we would have control over a business which today is run by criminals, and which finances criminals."
 

And as The Economist noted last week (hat tip The Dish), the Mexico City-based think tank Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO) believes that legalization may cost the cartels big time. IMCO estimates that Mexican drug trafficking organizations earn $2 billion per year from marijuana, with $1.4 billion of it going to the US. Significantly, IMCO doesn't just think that legalization by the US and Mexico would cut off the cartels from those funds. They have speculated that marijuana grown in Washington and Colorado (particularly Colorado) might be diverted and sold in other states, with a dramatically lowered cost made possible by legalization causing prices to drop elsewhere as well. Lower prices in turn might lead US marijuana users who now buy Mexican weed to switch to marijuana grown in the US instead, even if it's still illegal in their own states.

I am skeptical that we will see that kind of price drop just yet, in the absence of federal legalization, even in Washington or Colorado. It hasn't happened yet from medical marijuana, even though marijuana grown for the medical market is just as divertable as marijuana grown for the recreational market may be -- the dispensaries themselves haven't undercut street prices, partly to try to avoid diversion. Sellers in other states, and the people who traffic it to them, will continue incur the kinds of legal and business risks that they have now. And it is still impossible to set up the large scale farming operations for marijuana that reduce production costs today for licit agriculture. But we don't really know yet.

Now one study is just one study, at the end of the day -- there are other estimates for the scale and value of the marijuana markets and for how much Mexican marijuana makes up of our market. But the cartels clearly have a lot of money to lose here, if not now then when federal prohibition gets repealed -- IMCO's point is valid, whether they are the ones to have best nailed the numbers or not.

It's also the case that some participants in the drug debate, such as Kevin Sabet, have argued that legalization won't reduce cartel violence, because "the cartels will just move into other kinds of crime." But those arguments miss some basic logical points. Cartels will -- and are -- diversifying their operations to profit from other kinds of illegal businesses besides drugs. But it's their drug profits -- the most plentiful and with the highest profit margin -- that enable them to invest in those businesses. The more big drug money we continue to needlessly send them, the more they will invest in other businesses, some of which are more inherently violative of human rights than drugs are.

Some researchers believe that Mexican cartels will step up their competition in other areas, if they lose access to drug trade profits, which could increase violence at certain levels of the organizations. But such effects are likely to be temporary. Nigel Inkster, former #2 person in Britain's intelligence service and coauthor of "Drugs, Insecurity, and Failed States: The Problems of Prohibition," at a book launch forum said he thinks that at a minimum the upper production levels of the drug trade, as well as the lower distribution levels, would see violence reductions. (We are also offering Inkster's book to donors, by the way.)

And it isn't just violence that's the problem. As a report last year by the Center for International Policy's Global Financial Integrity program noted, "[C]riminal networks... function most easily where there is a certain level of underdevelopment and state weakness... [I]t is in their best interest to actively prevent their profits from flowing into legitimate developing economies. In this way, transnational crime and underdevelopment have a mutually perpetuating relationship." The money flow caused by prohibition, accompanied by violence or not, is itself an important enough reason to urgently want to end prohibition as we do, and to reduce the reach of prohibition as much as is politically possible in the meanwhile, as Colorado and Washington have done.

And so Mexican and other thinkers are speaking up, as are victims of the current policy. For all their sakes, President Pena Nieto should not dismiss legalization so quickly. And Sabet and others should not be so quick to try to argue away the impact that the billions of dollars drug prohibition sends each year to the illicit economy has in fueling criminality and hindering societies from developing.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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now if we can convince the

now if we can convince the FEDERAL LEVEL it would be gone, out of the drug cartels hands, no more money means no more business, we can grow it ourselves and we won't be suppling  drug cartels any more money for them to buy guns and kill for this money.....It isn't just the states that need to legalize it, it is the federal government!!!!

mexico and its government are

mexico and its government are the cartel......

Think about it!

Common sense!!! If the only people who stand to loose from marijuana being legal is the drug cartels, then why are the only people fighting to keep it illegal are government officials? It just makes sense to me that the Governments of both Mexico and US are really the Cartel.

The Cartels are the government

Drug cartel representative Nieto posing as president of Mexico will soon visit Obama and pressure him to enforce federal law that criminalizes marijuana.  Just as in the U.S., big money influences elections in Mexico and the recent win for Nieto brings back the party that ruled Mexico when Nixon fired up the cartel business.

During Nixon's time the drug business was used as a pretense to strip away Constitutional rights and the government has used this pretense for over 50 years.

 

Cartels are not the only benefactors of marijuana prohibition

The reason the feds are so reluctant to move on this issue is domestic benefactors of prohibition.  Foremost is Big Pharma, which has much of Congress in its pocket.  Law enforcement gets federal subsidies for drug task forces and receives huge windfalls from property seizures.  Much of our oversized prison system has become a private, for-profit industry that wants to keep its cells full and build more prisons.  Police and prison guard unions are major lobbies.  All of these provide campaign funds to "our" representatives and expect that their economic interests will be  considered in any legislation.

RAND is tool of the government

RAND is controlled by big pharma and part of the conspiracy with the government.  You cannot trust anything they say.

"Kevin Sabet, have argued

"Kevin Sabet, have argued that legalization won't reduce cartel violence, because "the cartels will just move into other kinds of crime."

This guy is classic; the Big Bird of prohibitionists.  Drugs are the cartels cash cow bird brain.  Take away drugs and you take away a huge amount of cashflow for criminal ventures.  And what about the people?  Should humanity be robbed of the amazing benefits of marijuana because it's needed by the cops to keep criminals fat and happy?

Marijuana or no marijuana there will always be crime.  And the cops will have to fight it, whether it's renegade farmers or marine pirates.  But for goodness sakes, don't give the criminals the best profit margins!  Give them scraps! 

The reform community needs to put Sabet in his place.  And call out his twisted logic.

 

$60 million to settle charges

RAND is controlled by Pfizer,

By James O'Toole @CNNMoney August 7, 2012: 12:04 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will pay $60 million to settle charges that it paid millions in bribes to foreign officials, federal authorities announced Tuesday.

Another press release:

We are proud to announce that Rand received the Pfizer 2010 Partnership Excellence Award! 

cartel are already in the

cartel are already in the game of  government.why on earth would anyone think they are not.. so to legalize it in Mexico is like putting money changers in the church.....

Personal Freedom

Thomas Jefferson: “If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.”

                                                                                Time To Act

Here’s their problem , for most of our young life we are spoon feed the American Propaganda that We are the Freest, Strongest, Smartest Country that ever existed. That this country values personal freedom and that the government is for The People and by The People. And we bought it hook line and sinker, and now We plane to make it true.

The people of Colorado and Washington have exercised their American Right to self-govern and end their pointless, expensive harmful war on Cannabis and have made their voice herd loudly and clearly and Our Government, Your Government, hesitates to follow through on the will of The People. Let’s put aside the pointless war on Cannabis the life’s it has ruined the families separated and destroyed, the wasted billons on an over worked/populated prison and legal system. Put aside the fact it is not permently harmful to adults and that anyone with actual intelligent knows it is far safer than alcohol and tobacco( Vaporizer Duh). But lets focus on the fact that a majority of free American (And if you didn’t know 50,000 more people voted for Prop 64 in Colorado than voted for Obama) that live in two states in These The United States of America have exercised their right as American citizens to govern themselves.

 

They know that the majority of us cannot take off work for a week to travel and protest we simple are too busy trying to scratch out a living to do that.

So Here’s The Plan

Ok it’s easy I know most of us don’t have the money to donate or take off work and travel. But Our Voices Can! A call goes out to all Freedom Loving Americans to mail a bag of Cheetos and/or Goldfish Crackers to:

Attorney General Eric Holder

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Washington DC 20530-0001

We can as a United People make a huge statement. Imagine if you will the scene from Miracle on 34th Street where they dump the letters to Santa on the judge’s desk. Now imagine 100,000/500,000 or even 1,000,000 packages of munchies staked and flowing out of the Department of Justice. The great civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King have shown us that violence is not needed that when we speak as one nothing can withstand Our Will. Act now and stand with your country men/women and help teach our suppressive Government Officials that this is still a Government for  The People and by The People.

P.S. Even if you don’t agree with legalization and could care less about the will of The People, think about this. In the Great Depression one of the things we did as a country to claw our way out was the Taxation, Regulation and Distribution of Alcohol. So put that in your fiscal pipe and smoke it.

Do It!

1 Travel size bag of Cheetos…$0.35

1 U.S Postage Stamp…$0.45

1 White Envelop …$0.50

Mailing munchies to Attorney General Eric Holder/U.S. Department of Justice/950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW /Washington DC 20530-0001 to show my support for Co. and Wash. Stand to self-Govern…. Priceless

marijuana

The genie is out of the bottle and it might now become an impossible task to turn the clocks back.Colorado and Washington states marijuana legalization have provided the spark that is threatening to engulf the entire globe.Chain reactions are known to occur in the physical world,one of the most common process known as nuclear fission but it is the first time in the living world that a plant is able to trigger such  a chain process on its own.

The first winner in the marijuana legalization is the plant itself. By synthesizing THC in its trichomes,the plant cannabis, with man's help, has insured its own survival over the very long term.The cannabis plant has survived mans war,has survived prohibition,has survived mass extinction and is going to be alongside us for a very long time to come.

The US people should not be surprised because they have been the artisans that other people on Earth also aspire that marijuana be also legal in their country.And lets respect the choice of Mexicans if they themselves choose to make marijuana legal.In Canada we certainly would like to do the same as our neighbors but because of the blindness of our beloved prime minister Harper who reign on Canada as a real dictator this will not be possible in the short term.A majority of canadian idiots have voted for Harper in the last election with the mess that we now know in Canada.

Cannabis prohibition is in the treaty

One way to control a less powerful border country is to make them sign a trade agreement. As we had decimated the agricultural industry in Mexico with our past destructive trade policies we then offered help and made them sign treaties for aid and less restrictive export policies. Embeded within these treaties are clauses that the government (Mexico) will honor and abide by current policies (not always specified) concerning other areas of law enforcement from the government offering the aid (U.S.).

As with any kind of contract that is associated with aid (otherwise known as debt) there are consequences and penalties for going against the treaty or any of its subordinate clauses. Mexico is bound by these treaties and may have to return aid or lose exports to the U.S., but in this case a multi billion dollar high grade cannabis industry (resorts, cafes, medicinal clinics, etc.) might very well offset, supplant or displace revenue gained from such a treaty. No longer will the cartels need to traffic the drugs when tourists will come to them.

Mexico's drug cartels will be able to become legitimate businesses in much the same way the Mob became legitimate in Las Vegas, NV. Mexico has a (risky) opportunity to end the violence, make concessions and ultimately prosper economically. It certainly beats the hell out of their current situation.

Let's not forget that the drug war is a method of U.S. colonialism, that is to establish influence and control of foreign nations with the militarized DEA as its enforcement arm. The drug war was never about drugs, it was always about control.  

The devil is in the treaties...

 

One way to control a less powerful border country is to make them sign a trade agreement. As we had decimated the agricultural industry in Mexico with our past destructive trade policies we then offered help and made them sign treaties for aid and less restrictive export policies. Embeded within these treaties are clauses that the government (Mexico) will honor and abide by current policies (not always specified) concerning other areas of law enforcement from the government offering the aid (U.S.).

As with any kind of contract that is associated with aid (otherwise known as debt) there are consequences and penalties for going against the treaty or any of its subordinate clauses. Mexico is bound by these treaties and may have to return aid or lose exports to the U.S., but in this case a multi billion dollar high grade cannabis industry (resorts, cafes, medicinal clinics, etc.) might very well offset, supplant or displace revenue gained from such a treaty. No longer will the cartels need to traffic the drugs when tourists will come to them.

Mexico's drug cartels will be able to become legitimate businesses in much the same way the Mob became legitimate in Las Vegas, NV. Mexico has a (risky) opportunity to end the violence, make concessions and ultimately prosper economically. It certainly beats the hell out of their current situation.

Let's not forget that the drug war is a method of U.S. colonialism, that is to establish influence and control of foreign nations with the militarized DEA as its enforcement arm. The drug war was never about drugs, it was always about control.  

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