An article in The Atlantic reports that “a respected Mexican think tank” (IMCO) has determined that if Oregon, Washington and Colorado vote to legalize marijuana, it could significantly damage cartel revenue. The author writes:
“The updated research suggests that cartels earn $6 billion each year from marijuana sales in the United States. If Washington, the state most likely to pass its ballot measure, does so, IMCO reports it will cut the cartels’ income by $1.37 billion, or about 23% of their revenue (though some cartels will be hit harder than others). Legalization in Oregon and Colorado would result in similar declines.”
An interesting thought, though the title of The Atlantic article is a bit misleading: “Why Mexico is Rooting for U.S. Pot Legalization” seems to imply an official government statement or a widespread poll of the Mexican people, whereas the article is actually covering the statements of a think tank. Still, the author makes some thoughtful points:
“IMCO cautions that a federal crackdown following legalization in these states could significantly limit the damage to the cartels. Given the Obama administration’s record and Mitt Romney’s campaign-trail policies, federal pressure on citizens operating in the new legal grey areas will be intense. If markets are to do what soldiers could not, and cripple drug smuggling operations, it will take a national policy change.”
Anyone currently in Mexico have a feel for popular opinion re: the drug wars?