Market Overview

U.S. Marijuana Reform Is Hurting Mexican Drug Cartels

U.S. Marijuana Reform Is Hurting Mexican Drug Cartels

There are several reasons that voters in the U.S. have begun to legalize marijuana across the nation. Increased tax revenue, medical benefits and the introduction of new jobs have all played a role in the spreading support for legal marijuana.

However, some argue that the most important impact of marijuana reform has been a reduction in cross-border drug smuggling by Mexico's drug cartels.

Americans Prefer Homegrown

With weed legal in several states, the options for pot smokers are quickly growing.

Most dispensaries offer different strains and label their products to display potency. The quality of the product far outweighs most of what comes across the border from Mexico, making it preferable to American consumers.

Related Link: Medical And Recreational Marijuana Growing In The U.S. Industry Market

Funding Lower

Because Americans are becoming increasingly less interested in illegal marijuana, less cash is making its way into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Drug lords have less money to illegally purchase weapons and bribe police, which in turn has seen the number of homicides in Mexico fall dramatically from around 23,000 in 2011 to 15,649 in 2014.

While officials admit that less marijuana cash could have helped reduce violence, the arrest or killing of several prominent cartel leaders over the past few years has also contributed to the lower number of homicides.

Other Avenues

Although U.S. border agents have seen a marked decline in marijuana smuggling, Mexican cartels are involved in several other crimes that have continued to thrive.

Smuggling other hard drugs like heroin and crystal meth have seen no impact from marijuana legalization; in fact, U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows that the amount of meth crossing the border has actually risen as marijuana declined, with an astronomical 300 percent increase in meth seizures in California entry points alone between 2009 and 2014.

Image Credit: Public Domain


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