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In 1971, President Richard Nixon launched the $1 Trillion war on drugs in America.  This created a void in supply which was quickly filled by imports from the Mexican drug cartels. Now, American legalization is killing them.

The Mexican drug cartels may have seen their days in the sun. 

As cannabis legalization dawns across the US, the drug trafficking landscape is eroding.  As it turns out, the more local supply of legal cannabis exists domestically, the less cartel cannabis can be found migrating north across the U.S./Mexico border.  This is putting quite a dent in their cash flow.

A new report from U.S. Border Patrol demonstrates a sharp drop in cannabis seized at the border.  This drop clearly coincides with American states legalization medical and recreational cannabis.

In fact, the Washington Post reports, cannabis seizures at the southern border has crawled to their lowest point in over 10 years - to only 1.5 million pounds.  This is down from a peak of four million in 2009.

Speaking to Anti-Media, the source of this article, Amir Zendenham of stated that:

"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.”

Continued legalization has created a severe drop in prices in the illicit cannabis food chain.  "Two or three years ago a kilo [2.2 pounds] of marijuana was worth $60 to $90," a cannabis farmer in Mexico said in an interview. "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 will run us in to the ground".

Pot consumers are also starting to see the difference.  Low quality Mexican cannabis is hard to find in states which have legalized, while prices for high quality home-grown domestic pot have steadily increased.

These developments will also curb violence in Mexico, as cannabis profits used to buy guns dry up.

Legalizing will also save the U.S. 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 non-profit dedicated to promoting more humane drug policies."

In fact, Colorado became the first state to generate more tax revenue from cannabis than alcohol in one year -- $70 million.

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, not incarceration, to tackle the problem.


This article is based on Nick Bernabe's great article (Legalizing Weed Has Done What 1 Trillion Dollars and a 40 Year War Couldn’t). This article is republished under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Nick Bernabe and Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific.