How Legalization Of Marijuana Affects Cartels


Obviously, the fellas that aren’t that thrilled with marijuana being legalized, either recreational or medically, are good old cartels. They operate on a very basic notion. As long as a drug is an illegal commodity, they are in business. As soon as that starts the change, the cartels have a problem as their very existence becomes questionable. You can only imagine what that does to prices. A couple of years ago, two pounds of marijuana were available between $60 and $90, depending on the strain and quality. Today, that price has fallen to $30. If the price falls bellow $22, the market will collapse. I find that completely ridiculous because the war on drugs was all about preventing growing, smuggling, distributing and selling marijuana. It is completely unfathomable that the opposite actually works. By legalizing marijuana, the government is winning the war on drugs.

Drugs & Violence

The bad side of this is that Mexican cartels are now trying to push other more dangerous drugs at a cheaper price. Drugs like heroin are now being distributed relatively cheaply and that is not something that will be legalized anytime soon. Then there’s the violence. Between 2007 and 2012, the cartels killed about 13,000 people per year. Considering that specific track record, they obviously were not getting high on their own supply, especially as far as cannabis was concerned. Mexican authorities are not exactly known for their incorruptibility, which means that they’re spoiled to the extent of a megalomaniac brat and cannabis used to be their biggest cash cow.


However, Mexican cartels have a very wide array of services. They don’t just smuggle marijuana. They also smuggle cocaine, which they have to get at high prices from Columbian cartels so the profit margin is not that high, especially when they have to smuggle and sell that cocaine in the US on lower prices. Then there’s heroin, a drug that shouldn’t even exist, let alone be easily accessible. As if that wasn’t enough, another activity Mexican cartels like to participate in is human smuggling. So, essentially, by legalizing weed, the US is motivating the cartels to sell cheaper heroin and become more efficient in trafficking people.

The Solution

Marijuana is inevitably tied to the illegal drug market as well as being classified in the same class with cocaine and heroin, something that surely doesn’t help the overall situation. There are estimates that if the US continues to legalized weed, marijuana sales of Mexican cartels will fall by 85%. Obviously, the solution here is not to legalize cocaine and heroine but rather remove it from the company of heroin and cocaine. Also, ease up on taxing the damn thing; taxes on recreational and medical weed are insane. However, the one blow that would really shake up the cartels would be to legalize recreational marijuana all over the use, all at once. With that kind of a financial blow it would be hard to recuperate and surely, that particular action would slow down the cartels significantly.


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