Legalizing Weed Has Done What 1 Trillion Dollars And A 40 Year War Couldn't

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Nick Bernabe via,

The Mexican drug cartels are finally meeting their match as a wave of cannabis legalization efforts drastically reshapes the drug trafficking landscape in the United States. It turns out that as states legalize cannabis use and cultivation, the volume of weed brought across the border by Mexican drug cartels dramatically decreases — and is putting a dent in their cash flow.

A newly-released statistical report from the U.S. Border Patrol shows a sharp drop-off in cannabis captured at the border between the United States and Mexico. The reduction in weed trafficking coincides with dozens of states embracing cannabis use for both medical and recreational purposes.

In fact, as the Washington Post reports, cannabis confiscations at the southern border have stumbled to the lowest point in over a decade — to only 1.5 million pounds. That’s down from a peak of four million pounds in 2009.

Speaking to Anti-Media, Amir Zendehnam, host of the popular cannabis show, “In the Clear with Amir” on, told us what he thinks of these new statistics:

“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.”

Consumers are also starting to see the difference. Cheap low quality Mexican cannabis has become almost impossible to find in states that have legalized, while prices for high quality home-grown have steadily decreased.

This is good news for Mexico. A decreasing flow of cannabis trafficking throughout the country will likely lead to less cartel violence as revenues used to buy weapons dry up. Drug war-related violence in Mexico was responsible for an estimated 27,000 deaths in 2011 alone — outpacing the entire civilian death toll of the United States’ 15-year war in Afghanistan.

These developments reinforce criticism of the War on Drugs as a failed policy. Making substances like cannabis illegal simply drove the industry underground, helping make America the largest incarcerator in the world.

Legalizing cannabis will also save the United States a great deal of money. 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 cannabis tax scheme show that revenues that will ostensibly help schools and rehabilitation efforts by flooding the state with cash. In fact, Colorado became the first state to generate more tax revenue from cannabis than alcohol in one year — $70 million.

But why stop with cannabis legalization? As more and more drug propaganda is debunked thanks to the legal weed movement, it’s time to also advocate for drug legalization across the board. The drug war’s criminalization of substances has done nothing to stem their use, and has simply turned addicts into criminals, even though plenty of experts agree that addiction is a health issue, not a criminal one.


Maybe it’s time for the U.S., Mexico, and other countries to embrace the Portuguese and Irish model of treating addiction to drugs like an addiction to alcohol or cigarettes, using rehabilitation — rather than incarceration — to confront the problem.

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Herdee's picture

Other products that are not illegal and kill cancer cells.

Father Thyme's picture
Father Thyme (not verified) Mar 5, 2016 8:30 PM

The Rat Park experiment is the best model for addiction:


Addiction and the Rat Park experiments

junction's picture

With his Kill List, Obama has legalized murder by the state.  Why stop there, legalize murder across the board.  Bumping off malcontents, the ill and the enemies of the .0001% is good for the economy, according to the NWO.  Ask Michael Hastings.  Ask Philip Marshall. 

Mr. Universe's picture

In Ca. they have Medical and you really need to try to get busted otherwise. The signal reports that the Northern Local harvest is now mostly going out of State and prices are higher in the SFBay as a result. But they are talking two different beasts here. The crap that they are selling in Mexico for $40 a kilo is not likely to be mistaken for the $250/oz dispensary stuff. I hear they were paying $1,100/lb but that has changed as growers are getting $1500-1600/lb out of state. I have not had an update for a month or so. What I don't understand is the gangs are sending members out to the National forrests and setting up shop and it's taking a toll on the ecosystem, not that the other guerillas don't as well. There are certain places I won't hike anymore, not worth getting shot. Why can't the local Mexicans grow a comparable product? They are just failing to produce what the consumer wants, instead of seedy brown bricks of crap. BTW, weed is not addictive, has many medical uses, thousands of industrial uses and is responsible for zero deaths each year.

Nutsack's picture
Nutsack (not verified) Mr. Universe Mar 5, 2016 9:36 PM

Russel Brand is a lying faggot socialist. You cheapen your arguement by including this scumfuck.

peddling-fiction's picture

He is controlled Illuminati opposition.

The Juggernaut's picture

Legalize Liberty!


"We have a right to find a religion that fills out hearts, we have a right to read books that fill our minds so why must the government step in when we want to do things that fill our bodies?"  - Ron Paul (pretty much what he said in another video I can't find)

Twee Surgeon's picture

The only reason they have Legalizied it is for the taxes for the local government yokels retirement plans, it should never have been illegal, if it was legal, nobody would smoke it, mind dulling, tedious shit. have a nibbnle if you get depressed, a medicine, that is all it is, here is a Yul Brynner clip, related to nothing,

All Risk No Reward's picture

How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs

The money wasn't taken in civil asset forfeiture, the money wasn't even taxed, no criminal charges were filed, and only the whistle blower was fired.

The real question is... what is coming that is so terrible that the Debt-Money Monopolists are willing to give up portions of their trillion dollar Opium Plus 2.0 drug running operations to distract the poles?

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) All Risk No Reward Mar 6, 2016 2:25 AM

A Marijuana black market is a gateway black market.  Legalize it and the hard stuff loses most of its distribution network.

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

 “Two or three years ago, a kilogram [2.2 pounds] of marijuana was worth $60 to $90,” a cannabis farmer in Mexico


Damn, have i been gettin ripped off, that shit has higher margins than a General Dynamics' hammer.

HowdyDoody's picture

OMG - what will happen to the CIA funding conduit if weed takes over and legally too?

greenskeeper carl's picture

Russel brand is a lying faggot socialist.

That doesn't mean he can't occasionally be right about something does it, because most of what I have heard out of him about the war on drugs is spot on IMO.

I just don't like the idea of incarcerating people for using a plant the government doesn't like. Or any other substance for that matter. A lot of drugs are actually even more dangerous because they are age in questionable conditions and are inconsistent in their strength, leading people to accidentally overdose.

None of this is to say I endorser or condone any of this behavior, I just don't think it's anyone else's business what people do with of put into their own bodies. This collectivist mindset infuriates me.

InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

no offense, as right as brand may be on this, using brand in any fashion cheapens the premise

McMolotov's picture

Bruce Lee: "Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own."

mkkby's picture

Pot is just a plant that anyone can grow anywhere.  Eventually the price will fall to near zero, like a head of lettuce.

Grow your own and fuck the tax man.

sleigher's picture

It's wrong because Jesus said so.  


Took Red Pill's picture

Where exactly did he say that in the New Testament? There is a story of him turning water to wine so I guess thats not wrong.

InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

shit, author had a great premise but started quoting the washington post.... enuff said

JustObserving's picture

According to the ACLU’s original analysis, marijuana arrests now account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States. Of the 8.2 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010, 88% were for simply having marijuana. Nationwide, the arrest data revealed one consistent trend: significant racial bias. Despite roughly equal usage rates, Blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.

It is simply insane to arrest 8.2 million people for marijuanain 10 years, most for simple possession.  How much did it cost to prosecute and imprison them?


The Injustice of Marijuana Arrests

America’s four-decade war on drugs is responsible for many casualties, but the criminalization of marijuana has been perhaps the most destructive part of that war. The toll can be measured in dollars — billions of which are thrown away each year in the aggressive enforcement of pointless laws. It can be measured in years — whether wasted behind bars or stolen from a child who grows up fatherless. And it can be measured in lives — those damaged if not destroyed by the shockingly harsh consequences that can follow even the most minor offenses. 


In October 2010, Bernard Noble, a 45-year-old trucker and father of seven with two previous nonviolent offenses, was stopped on a New Orleans street with a small amount of marijuana in his pocket. His sentence: more than 13 years.

WillyGroper's picture

and not one bankster jailed.

whata machine.

TeamDepends's picture

All Corzine did was light up a joint!!! Wait, maybe that was loot the joint. Man, that nug was skunky....

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

It is simply insane to arrest 8.2 million people for marijuanain 10 years, most for simple possession.  How much did it cost to prosecute and imprison them?

The taxpayers are footin the bill so they could give a rats ass 


Cruel Aid's picture

my last court duty was a lady barely over felony at local grocers. I was pissed that she prob would do time. my argument, make her do restitution. pissed at the store and everyone including the judge who thought i was wrong. I hv to pay for her time no one could see that. People are so dang stupid.

She was clearly guilty but she gets that felony on her record for future pain. pay restitution or jail.

Corporate penal system and runaway legal system is a racket

InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

i am so sick of the racial bias argument... when you make yourself a low hanging fruit, you get picked first...  sorry, but white, latino, and asian kids are smarter about how they hide their criminal activity... that isn't bias... that is stupidity and can only be called as such.

sleigher's picture

It's because Jesus doesn't want white girls fucking black dudes.  Everything else is bullshit.

White girl gets high, next thing you know she wants to fuck.  Well, who got her high?  Them dudes need to be in jail...

quadraspleen's picture

And you need to be inside a secure unit

StychoKiller's picture

Look up "Cocaine-Crazed Negro" on wikipedia for yer answer(s).

boattrash's picture

We could expect the same results if we stopped the war on terror as well.

Let's break the cartels in DC.

rwe2late's picture

 The two "wars" are inextricably linked to each other,

and should be regarded as ONE and THE SAME.


The "war" on drugs opened the door for all the heavy policing, imprisonment,

surveillance, intrusive searches,and fearmongering we have all come to love,


and not to forget the false cover to give military aid to oppressive governments,


nor to forget the money laundering to fund CIA terrorists

and criminal henchmen from Guatemala, to Kosovo, to Afghanistan,

and going back at least to Air America in the Vietnam holocaust.

HowdyDoody's picture

A photocopy of a letter dated 1991 from a US government scientist A. Shulgin to a USSR scientist K. Jinguel regarding the drug problems in the US and the USSR. Shulgin worked in the US DEA. Jinguel had moved to Italy because the USSR drug wars instigated after the collapse of the Berin Wall made life in the USSR too dangerous.

The comments of the US scientist regarding the impact of US legislation are very prophetic.

More letters from their communications can be found using the 'previous' and 'next' links.

boattrash's picture

Would that be A. Shulgin (who wrote PIHKAL)? Andrew or Alexander I think.

If so, he was one of the most brilliant chemists of all time.

Most chemicals that are banned from consumption were made by him. All of them were tested by him (and his friends) every weekend. Yet he was still online, answering questions intelligently, well into his 80's.

WTFRLY's picture

And the smart cartels own unlicensed, unregistered plants growing in legal Colorado grow ops. Shrug.

nmewn's picture

True enough, we had something similar down here.

So, Florida passed "medical marijuana" to be grown on "approved, regulated & licensed" private farms. 

They did the usual thing of course (it has to have an air of law & legitimacy after all), a local seven member Blue Ribbon panel was appointed/assembled to go over the candidates qualifications and vet them all.

Any guesses how many Blue Ribbon panel MEMBERS are now qualified after being seriously vetted and will be growing pot soon?

Yeah, five of seven.

Helluva a racket ;-)

Blythes Master's picture

Congrats to floriduh, my former abode.

Here in Klantucky, they wanted to push a bill through so we can legally grow hemp again. The Klantucky Stazi Police bitched and moaned that it would fuck up their aerial surveillance and busts of pot farms. No matter to them that hemp pollen would do their jobs for them rendering the pot crops wothless, no no, Must....keep....war....on....drugs.....going.

Mucking forons, the lot of them.

Normalcy Bias's picture

As my wise old Dad says, "It's all about whose ox gets gored."

Same as it ever was, I guess.

TeamDepends's picture

We are waiting, somewhat patiently, to jump onboard the medical opium bandwagon.

InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

won't happen until they run out of patents on opiums derivatives

NoPension's picture

Drugs are big business for cops.

Can't decriminalize it, what will they do with with all their high tech military toys? And asset forfeiture. What a fucking racket.

StychoKiller's picture

They might have to go back to catching (gasp!) REAL criminals!

logically possible's picture

So was that 1.5 million pounds of confiscated marijuana  heading North or South?

Richard Chesler's picture

Simple. Cut out the middle men.

Corrupt scumbags in DC.


FreedomGuy's picture

The Libertarians were right.

nmewn's picture

...and again.

Just wait till they start poppin people for not having a tax stamp.

Now, you're a criminal...again ;-)

Father Thyme's picture
Father Thyme (not verified) nmewn Mar 5, 2016 9:16 PM

Never read Mises?


The maintenance of a government apparatus of courts, police officers, prisons, and of armed forces requires considerable expenditure. To levy taxes for these purposes is fully compatible with the freedom the individual enjoys in a free market economy.
Ludwig von Mises
Human Action