Cannabis Legalization Has Done What $1Trillion And A 40 Year War Couldn’t

The $1 trillion War on Drugs started by President Nixon in 1971 caused the rise of the Mexican drug cartels, now legislating weed is killing them.

The Mexican drug cartels are at last meeting their match as a wave of marijuana legalization efforts drastically reshapes the drug trafficking landscape in the United States. As states legislate marijuana use and cultivation, the volume of weed brought across the border by Mexican drug cartels drastically decreases-- and is putting a huge dent in their money circulation.

A newly-released analytical report from the U.S. Border Patrol shows a sharp drop-off in marijuana seized at the border in between the United States and Mexico. The decrease in weed trafficking accompanies lots of states allowing cannabis use for both medical and leisure purposes.

In fact, as the Washington Post reports, marijuana confiscations at the southern border have stumbled to the lowest point in over a year, to just 1.5 million pounds. That's down from a peak of 4 million pounds in 2009.

Amir Zendehnam, host of the popular program, "In the Clear with Amir" on cannabis-oriented network, informed us exactly what he considers these new stats:

“The economics of the cannabis industry show us that with healthy competition in the market, prices drop, quality rises, violence diminishes, and peaceful transactions increase. As constant new research emerges detailing the plant’s benefits, the negative stigma of using cannabis, both medicinally and recreationally, is diminishing, raising the demand for high quality product.

“Colorado, for example, is experiencing an economic boom that has never been seen in the state. The biggest issue in Colorado today is what to do with the huge amounts of revenue and economic success the state is gaining as a result of legalization. The Colorado model has proven that legalization reduces crime rates, cuts prices, pushes unfavorable competition out of the market, provides cleaner products with heightened transparency, and increases the standard of living for society as a whole.

“The only people hurt by continued societal acceptance and legalization of cannabis are the cartels and their friends, who have flourished for decades as a result of drug prohibition.

“As legalization spreads across the U.S. and the rest of the world like wildfire, I predict the industry will soon become one of the most dominant and beneficial industries humanity has ever seen.”

And the new competition from legal states has taken a big bite out of the entire illicit Mexican marijuana food chain. “Two or three years ago, a kilogram [2.2 pounds] of marijuana was worth $60 to $90,” a cannabis farmer in Mexico said in an interview with NPR. “But now they’re paying us $30 to $40 a kilo. It’s a big difference. If the U.S. continues to legalize pot, they’ll run us into the ground.”

And the new competition from legal states has actually taken a huge bite out of the whole illicit Mexican cannabis cycle. "2 or 3 years ago, a kilogram [2.2 pounds] of marijuana could fetch $60 to $90," a cannabis farmer in Mexico said in an interview with NPR. "However now they're paying us $30 to $40 a kilo. It's a big distinction. If the U.S. continues to legislate pot, they'll run us into the ground."

Consumers are likewise starting to see the distinction. Inexpensive poor quality Mexican marijuana has become virtually difficult to find in states that have legislated, while costs for high quality home-grown have progressively reduced.

This is good news for Mexico. A decreasing circulation of marijuana trafficking throughout the nation will likely lead to less cartel violence as incomes used to buy weapons dry up. Drug war-related violence in Mexico was responsible for an approximated 27,000 deaths in 2011 alone exceeding the whole civilian death toll of the United States' 15-year war in Afghanistan.

These developments enhance criticism of the War on Drugs as an unsuccessful policy. Making compounds like cannabis unlawful simply drove the industry underground, helping America have biggest prison poplation on the planet.

Legislating marijuana will also conserve the United States a large amount of cash. As Mint Press News reported:

“Since Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs in June 1971, the cost of that “war” had soared to over $1 trillion by 2010. Over $51 billion is spent annually to fight the drug war in the United States, according to Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting more humane drug policies.”

Early reports from Colorado's marijuana tax plan reveal that profits that will ostensibly help schools and rehab efforts by flooding the state with money. In truth, Colorado ended up being the very first state to produce more tax income from marijuana than alcohol in one year $70 million.

But why stop with cannabis legalization? As increasingly more drug propaganda is exposed thanks to the legal weed motion, it's time to likewise advocate for drug legalization across the board. The drug war's criminalization of substances has actually not done anything to stem their use, and has just turned addicts into crooks, although plenty of professionals concur that dependency is a health problem, not a criminal one.

Possibly it's time for the United States, Mexico, and other countries to accept the Portuguese, Irish and Canadian model of treating dependency to drugs like a dependency to alcohol or cigarettes, utilizing rehabilitation rather than incarceration, to fix the issue.

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