Sunday, November 6, 2016

Legalization takes a bite out of organized crime

As the flow of cartel brick weed into the U.S. dwindles to due further legalization measures, the phenomenon of smuggling California pot southbound to Mexico has arisen.
The abundance of high-quality legal marijuana in California has created a demand in Mexico that local cartels can’t supply with their own homegrown product, reports KQED.
“If you’re in Mexico, and you want the best marijuana out there, there’s only one place to get it,” said Matthew Shapiro, a San Diego-based attorney specializing in marijuana, to KQED. “There’s no such thing as high-quality Mexican weed.”
Although smuggling drugs from either side of the border is both illegal and risky, southbound smuggling into Mexico is much easier, as drivers can sometimes cross the Tijuana border without ever stopping for Mexican officials.
Experts on both sides of the border believe that the demand for California pot in Mexico will rise if the state passes the proposition 64 initiative to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use.

“They can get it easily in the U.S., and they bring it back with them in small quantities — generally for their own consumption,” clinic director Raul Palacios said to KQED. “I don’t doubt that they share it with their friends, but not on a large scale.”
American marijuana legalization efforts have already caused a sharp decline in Mexican drug cartel revenues, and California’s impending decision could drive cartels further down.
“Two or three years ago, a kilogram [2.2 pounds] of marijuana was worth $60 to $90,” a Mexican marijuana grower told NPR news in December 2014. “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.”


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