Earlier this week on The Daily Weekly we highlighted a recent piece in The Atlantic by former Seattle Weekly writer Keegan Hamilton, discussing Mexican drug cartels' likely reaction to marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado. The post, and more specifically Hamilton's Atlantic piece, notes that marijuana legalization in these two states isn't likely to doom the business models of Mexican cartels.
Rather, it will take more than simply Washington and Colorado to accomplish such a feat, an assertion at least one Daily Weekly commenter agrees with.
As the post notes:
While pot legalization in our state and Colorado seems destined to forever change the way Mexican drug cartels do business - both here and throughout the United States - the idea that efforts like I-502 will cripple cartels is likely, at best, overblown.
As former Seattle Weekly staff writer Keegan Hamilton expertly illustrates for The Atlantic today, the problem (and the way cartels are likely to react to marijuana legalization) is far more complex than many have given it credit for.
As Hamilton writes for The Atlantic:
The notion that legalizing marijuana will cripple Mexico's brutal drug cartels has gained steam in recent years, and finally boiled over last month when Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Adults 21 and over in both states will be allowed to possess up to an ounce of processed pot, reversing a prohibition policy that stood for the better part of a century. It's unclear whether the federal government will tolerate the repeal, but if legal pot remains the law of the land, it is widely assumed that Mexican drug cartels will be out several billion dollars in annual revenue.
But talk to entrepreneurs familiar with the existing marijuana industry in Washington and Colorado -- and to law enforcement agents who deal with gang crime -- and there is reason for skepticism. Not only have the cartels diversified their portfolios (to borrow language applied to other multinational, multibillion dollar operations); the Mexican suppliers have already been edged out of the local markets in the two new green states.
As commenter joell58 writes:
There are still a few people making and selling moonshine to the black market. Since alcohol is legal in most places now the big cartels don't seem very inerested in that market anymore. I wouldn't even have known it was still going on if it weren't for "reality TV". When marijuana is legal in more of the states Mexico will have to improve it's quality or they won't be able to give the low grade weed away, except in places where it is still prohibited.