Now that marijuana legalization has swept 23 states and the nation’s capital, cannabis is a widely-discussed topic. Even your 80-year-old grandfather who never smoked a day in his life is starting to get interested in the subject. The cannabis industry is generating hugely significant amounts of money for all kinds of businesses and in turn, the U.S. government. Crime and overdose rates have also gone down immensely in states where marijuana is legal. Aside from these facts, another topic has recently been brought to the light. It appears that the legalization movement has been so effective and widespread that Mexican drug cartels are now struggling to stay afloat.
Recently, a journalist from National Public Radio (NPR) interviewed Nabor, a 24-year-old Mexican marijuana grower, to get an inside scoop on what’s been happening since states have started legalizing. “Two or three years ago, a kilogram [2.2 pounds] of marijuana was worth $60 to $90,” says Nabor. “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.” He goes on to say “Look here, we’re only getting $40 a kilo. The day we get $20 a kilo, it will get to the point that we just won’t plant marijuana anymore.”
While this trend is clearly bad news for the cartels themselves, this is fantastic news for the United States as well as the Latin American nations in which these criminals operate. These cartels are responsible for countless homicides, kidnappings, and brutal attacks worldwide – typically more concentrated in their own countries.
“In countries where the dominant export is illegal, violence will be endemic.”
Legalizing marijuana severs one lifeline that the cartels need to survive. Now it’s time for the remaining 27 states to make it legal, keep it local, and save innocent lives.