How Marijuana Legalization in America Is Destroying Mexican Drug Cartel Business

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Nothing is more amusing (and sad) than when I see some ignorant out of stater commenting about how nightmarish the legalization of marijuana has been for Colorado. The most high-profile and hilarious example of this came from disgraced New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who I have criticized sharply on several occasions, here, here and here. He foolishly spouted some hysterical nonsense last month when he said:

“See if you want to live in a major city in Colorado, where there’s head shops popping up on every corner and people flying into your airport just to come and get high. To me, it’s just not the quality of life we want to have here in the state of New Jersey and there’s no tax revenue that’s worth that.”

Honestly, what planet does this clown live on? As someone who actually lives in Colorado, I can tell you that the only thing that has changed since legalization is that there is a greater sense of freedom and people are no longer getting arrested in droves for non-violent drug possession charges. Let’s not forget that the police arrest someone every two seconds in America, many of which are for mere drug possession charges. Apparently, Christie thinks this is a good thing and ultimately results in this mythical wonderful “quality of life” that apparently exists in some corner of New Jersey where rainbow farting unicorns roam the countryside.


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As someone who spent nearly three decades in the New York metro area, and who has lived in Colorado now for over three years, I can tell you there’s no comparison. I’ve met many, many people who have intentionally left New Jersey for Colorado, yet I’ve never met a single person who has intentionally left Colorado for New Jersey. Perhaps that person exists and is currently flying back east on his unicorn and is therefore unavailable for comment.

Anyway, while we are on the topic, the Huffington Post posted a great article comparing the two states. They note:

Business climate: It turns out Colorado is a great place for business, ranking seventh out of the 50 states in a 2013 study from CNBC that took into consideration metrics like economy, infrastructure and the cost of doing business. New Jersey came in 42nd.


Forbes agrees, listing Colorado as the fifth best state for “business and careers.” New Jersey comes in 32nd on the Forbes list.


Economic growth and job creation: gathered data on just how well the 50 states do at creating jobs and fostering economic growth. They ranked Colorado second in the nation for innovation and entrepreneurship (New Jersey was 14th), 14th in economic performance (New Jersey came in at 33rd), and eighth for business climate (New Jersey was 49th).


The state of the states: Politico recently gathered various data points from the Census Bureau, the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and incorporated them with a slew of other factors, including income, high school graduation rates, life expectancy and more. In their subsequent ranking of the 50 states, Colorado came in seventh overall, while New Jersey came in 12th.


General well-being: The health care company Healthways partnered up with Gallup in 2013 to evaluate well-being across the United States. Looking at residents’ habits and behavior, emotional and physical health, work environments and more, they determined that Colorado ranks seventh in overall well-being. New Jersey comes in 23rd.

Furthermore, the city I currently live in was recently ranked the most fit city in all of America, and 3 of the top 10 cities were in Colorado. New Jersey had no cities in the top ten. Although to be fair, Christie probably skews the data quite a bit. See the rankings here.

Technology and science: The Milken Institute, a California think tank, recently took a close look at how states foster growth in technology and science, two areas that will likely prove key to the United States’ economic recovery. Colorado was ranked fourth in the nation. New Jersey was ranked 15th.

Chris Christie is clearly an ill informed blowhard and let’s not forget this guy wants to become President. How scary is that?

Moving along to the meat of this piece, Vice recently published a great article explaining how the legalization of pot is causing Mexican drug cartels to reduce plantings of marijuana and it also describes the frighteningly irrational response from the DEA. It reports that:

Marijuana has accounted for nearly half of all total drug arrests in the US for the past 20 years, according to the FBI’s crime statistics. And according to the Department of Justice (DOJ), a large portion of the US illegal drug market is controlled directly by Mexican cartels. The DOJ’s National Drug Intelligence Center, which has since been shut down, found in 2011 that the top cartels controlled the majority of drug trade in marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine in over 1,000 US cities.


Now, those cartels and their farmers complain that marijuana legalization is hurting their business. And some reports could suggest that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is more interested in helping to protect the Mexican cartels’ hold on the pot trade than in letting it dissipate. The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that pot farmers in the Sinaloa region have stopped planting due to a massive drop in wholesale prices, from $100 per kilo down to only $25. One farmer is quoted as saying: “It’s not worth it anymore. I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization.”


“Is it hurting the cartels? Yes. The cartels are criminal organizations that were making as much as 35-40 percent of their income from marijuana,” Nelson said, “They aren’t able to move as much cannabis inside the US now.”


In 2012, a study by the Mexican Competitiveness Institute found that US state legalization would cut into cartel business and take over about 30 percent of their market.


Given the DEA’s historic relationship with the Sinaloa cartel, and the agency’s fury over legalized marijuana, it almost seems like the DEA wants to crush the legal weed market in order to protect the interests of their cartel friends. Almost.

Not almost, that is exactly what they want to do.

"The DEA doesn’t want the drug war to end,” said Nelson, when asked about a possible connection between the agency’s hatred of legal pot and its buddies in Sinaloa. “If it ends, they don’t get their toys and their budgets. Once it ends, they aren’t going to have the kind of influence in foreign government. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but where there’s smoke there’s probably fire.”


The Sinaloa cartel came to prominence in January when the “Fast and Furious” scandal surfaced, in which it was revealed that DEA agents ignored Sinaloa drug shipments and essentially granted immunity to cartel criminals in exchange for information.


Another way the DEA tries to shut down legal marijuana dispensaries, and medical marijuana clinics, is through the banks. While large banks like HSBC and Wachovia have gotten away with laundering billions in cartel drug money, famously referred to as “too big to jail” by Attorney General Eric Holder, banks have been meticulously instructed by the DEA not to work with any kind of marijuana facility.


That’s pennies compared to what the US spends on the drug war. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, we spend $51 billion per year fighting illegal drugs. A 2010 study by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron found that not only would the US save tremendous amounts of money were it to end drug prohibition, legalizing could bring in an additional $46.7 billion in yearly tax revenue.


“We’ve spent 1.3 trillion since 1972 on the drug war. What have we gotten for that? Drugs are cheaper and easier to get than ever before,” Nelson told VICE News.

For more evidence of the insane mindset permeating the DEA, check out this article that shows how the agency seized hemp seed from Kentucky as state universities attempted to participate in legal studies.

The DEA has no idea what to do with itself now that the population of innocent citizens it can harass for exercising a personal choice and the amount of bribe money it can extract from drug cartels dissipates. Bottom line is that people want drugs, and as long as that’s the case, no petty authoritarian wearing a badge and a costume on some misguided moral crusade will change that.


And in addition, Mark Thronton had some thoughts...

The Washington Post explains that drug legalization in Colorado and Washington, along with Medical Marijuana Legalization in many other states has hurt the illegal marijuana growing business in northern Mexico. However, the Mexican drug cartels have been bailed out by America’s drug warriors who have cracked down on prescription pain killers. Prescription pain killers and heroin are both very addictive and deadly dangerous so that legalization would not only put the cartels out of business, but would open opportunities to address the problems of pain and addiction in a medical format rather than the black market.

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Manthong's picture

“Government” did that to the numbers racket a while back (lottery).

..pretty soon they will have state stores for women and young girls.. oh, forgot there for a moment .. Likely first, young boys.

cifo's picture

What took them so long?

TeamDepends's picture

I won't go schizo, will I?

There's a distinct possibility.

Mistress Raindrop's picture

It's time to legalize all the drugs.  I want to snort cocaine in the morning, and shoot smack in the afternoon.  Now go light my hash-pipe, bitches.

Angus McHugepenis's picture

Mistress Raindrop

Your continous spamming of your idiotic angrysinners blog under so many fucking names should be grounds for you being hunted and urinated on. Only a nutcase would continue doing this shit.

Your former screen names like The Dunce, Mister Kitty, orez65, etc must have been banned already or you wouldn't need this new one. You're such an asshole that I'm seriously thinking about putting my hacker hat back on and shutting you down.

Keyser's picture

Well, William Randolph Hearst had a lot to do with it...


Took Red Pill's picture

I think the gov't is saying "We'll give you your weed and gay marriage so you'll quit bitchin' and be too stoned to care about how we rob your savings & retirement, spy on you and wage war around the world."

Chief Wonder Bread's picture

Just wondering what Hitler would make of all this 'legalization business'?

Ignatius's picture

Douglas Valentine and Bill Conroy are great sources for a comprehensive understanding of the drug war.

The drug war is intimately tied to international geo-politics.

chunga's picture

Manthong - hat tip on linking this song the other day.

With God On Our Side {Live at Town Hall 1963}

Nothing to do with pot but really good. Thanks.

"With God On Our Side"

Oh my name it is nothin'
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I's taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And the land that I live in
Has God on its side.

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side.

The Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I's made to memorize
With guns on their hands
And God on their side.

The First World War, boys
It came and it went
The reason for fighting
I never did get
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side.

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And then we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.

I've learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war comes
It's them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we're forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God's on your side.

In a many dark hour
I've been thinkin' about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can't think for you
You'll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

So now as I'm leavin'
I'm weary as Hell
The confusion I'm feelin'
Ain't no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God's on our side
He'll stop the next war.


max2205's picture

Fuck that Fat Fuck Christie. ..what an ass.  Typical east coast tax and skim politician

AlaricBalth's picture

Don't forget the scrawny one, Jerry Brown, on the West Coast. This country's malignant politcal cancer is not just endemic to the East Coast.

As a matter of fact, most all politicians are tax and skim sycophants.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

seems we humans like altered states of mind..some get it thru exercise some thru hard work, some thru advancing knowledge and creation of useful products  some thru art, but it seems a lot of us get it thru drugs,

sex, binge eating, and other perversions not named which are thankfully not common. In the end which of the above are the most selfish? most promoting of society and mental health?? and which are self destructive?

As I have told my family many times..In my life I have never met anyone who was addicted to the common drugs of abuse and was better for it.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

added note, I am in the camp of those that think .gov has greatly overstepped it's constitutional restrictions in this abortion of war on drugs and it looks like our most powerful politicians, judges, police are neck deep in the drug business or are bought off ...

11b40's picture

Here is reality, not theory.  Telling people they can't have or do something only gives it greater allure.

7/05/2011 Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by Half in Portugal

Jul 19, 2012 What Happened When Portugal Decriminalized Drugs?

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Ha! Dug out my Smiling Phases compilation after I saw this which includes 'Light Up or Leave Me Alone'. +420

disabledvet's picture

Prices falling sounds like success to me.

nmewn's picture

I prefer mine (when I start again) without a tax stamp.

Never liked middlemen anyways ;-)

Ralph Spoilsport's picture

We had a Spring Tide this morning complete with coastal flooding and part of a bale washed up. I think it's from down your way  ;-)

11b40's picture

I'm just afraid that .gov is going to screw up my retirement program by too much legalization ;-)

NidStyles's picture

Speaking of prices the estimate is only for the DEA's budgetary expeditures. In reality the drug war costs the US something like $600+ Billion a year. 


Yes, that is Billion with a B. So extrapolate that back at least 10 years when the amount first broke $550 Billion. There are a lot of funds being channeled into the war making industry because of drugs. This is why there is so much resistance against ending the drug war, there are too many digital ones and zeros involved for the idiots to stop it and drop the issue. 


One day, if humans make it that far, people will look back at this point in history and feel shame for the crimes and follies of their ancestors. So much idiocy can not be good for the future of humanity, and perhaps that is the for the better. 

mc225's picture

the really weird thing is; things like weed and opium are banned in just about every country. so it's a worldwide weirdness. one theory is that governments need productive citizens, and recreational drugs generally don't foster 'productive' people.

tickhound's picture

"one theory is that governments need productive citizens, and recreational drugs generally don't foster 'productive' people."

That IS the theory isn't it?


Opium, mj, mushrooms, a TOMATO that is reproductive are all one time gigs that don't require you to go to Home Depot to buy next springs tomato plant... Or a BUD LIGHT... Or a VALIUM... Or whatthefuckever the doctor's big pharma employer just required him to prescribe me.

This is profit. This is money.

Planting mj in your garden isn't. And when things get tight neither is a watermelon, let alone one that reproduces.

The Wedge's picture

The term "pipe dream" comes from China. Opium, introduced by the East India company, nearly destroyed a generation in China. People became lazy and lethargic and the government finally outlawed the substance. They're still pissed at the British for that. Meth is all the rage with the elites in N Korea. Go figure. There have been many studies of how illicit and licit adulterants have affected societies. Generally speaking you won't find one that claims it has a good effect on society. Let's face it, drugs and alcohol have wrecked many lives but prohibition has contributed to this as well.

That said, weed is certainly not the same as opium. If it were, we would have already lost a generation or two by now. If cannabis use were to reach epic levels as opium use did in China, I suspect there could be negative societal impacts. But I just don't think that will ever be the case. Most use weed casually with no major impact on their lives. But as with any adulterant, for some, the potential for abuse is always there.

I thought the opium/Chinese history was relevant here but your assessment of course is spot on. When it comes to the war on drugs, money is king.

Morla's picture

Actually, that's because the U.S. rammed legislation through the U.N. prohibiting member countries from legalizing drugs.

Pee Wee's picture

They don't call it the gateway drug for nothing. It's the gateway for the Fascist dick sucking government to remove people's rights and cripple their lives through the just-us system.

The war on drugs is the biggest domestic "freedom-racket" next to homeland [in]security and the TSA.

No one takes any of it seriously except the retards getting their paychecks.   Speaking of Fascist paychecks, if I see you have ever worked for DHS or TSA or any other Federal "alphabit soup" when applying for work I toss your resume/applications in the trash and I encourage every business owner in America to do the same.  Think about getting black-listed working for Fascist-Sam before you drink that poison.

Cut the "DEA" and all the other alphabet for profit agencies down.

One And Only's picture

No one cares about weed. Everyone has smoked weed whether they know it or not, people just need something to fight about.

I'm high right now. I love you.

Spastica Rex's picture

Will no one think of the for-profit prison industry and their contributions to the economic well being of America?

What of the prisons?!

Acidtest Dummy's picture

Drug prices in prisons are much higher than on the street, so there's that.

Ignatius's picture

This key understanding -- that drugs are available inside the prisons -- tells one everything he need know about the drug trade, politics and corruption.

"They can't keep drugs out of prison and they look in your ass!" -- Doug Stanhope

NickVegas's picture

Funny how the highest margin drug markets in America are inside the prison industrial complex.

jeff montanye's picture

if we can't do it for the children, at least do it for the prison guards and the drug agents.

BlindMonkey's picture

What's good for CCA is good for America. /s

Mr. Pickles's picture

But, but, if drugs are legalized, how will the Police fund their bloated pensions?

jal's picture


There goes all hopes of having a police state.

intric8's picture

The poor police, yes. [s]

Meanwhile, dumbfuck america will get even stupider. Extract all liberties under the noses of a nation of potheads. Perfect

Keyser's picture

You failed to mention that the country has already been stolen out from under a culture of alcoholism, but nice try... 


logicalman's picture

How would CIA run black ops?

sessinpo's picture

Mr. Pickles     But, but, if drugs are legalized, how will the Police fund their bloated pensions?


There are still many trafffic vilations they can get you on. And since you asked, they will come down harder and make up even more lies that you have to fight.

sleigher's picture

Community activism.  More and more the only answer I see to any of this is community activism.  National politics are for politicians.  Local politics are for you and the people you care about.  Run for school board.  Run for mayor.  Run for anything but get everyone around you involved too.  This is the only way we can ever change anything.  Well, except for administering the 2nd amendment, but that should be reserved for when all else fails.  Maybe there is still hope locally?  How do you wake up a community when "community" has all but been bred out of the population?

NidStyles's picture

On this, I sort of agree, but I am more of an Agorism type of guy than a political one. Politics, even local ones are for people whom can't survive without someone supporting them. They have little to offer society in general, which is why they pretend to be "managers" of "society".