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Legalized Pot Hurting Mexico Cartels & Infuriating DEA

Posted on May 17, 2014

In news that no one had to be Nostradamus to predict, the legalization of marijuana has had a ripple effect on the “War on Drugs,” massively impacting the profitability and reach of Mexican drug cartels, which are taking a huge financial hit. The cost of the “drug” has dropped on the black market, and in turn has dropped the pay to farmers growing it in Mexico from $100 a kilo to $25 since it’s so readily available legally. With growers based in the US, the demand has plummeted for cannabis that has to be smuggled into the country. The market is showing its efficacy very clearly (read a thorough breakdown on this topic from James Miller here). This is upsetting not only to the cartels, but also to the DEA.

The natural effect of legalization is for bootleggers and smugglers to die off, taking the violence that accompanies any illicit trade with them. You may remember a little thing called “alcohol prohibition,” which is universally viewed as an idiotically bad idea that cost millions of dollars (and in 1920s dollars nonetheless!) and thousands of lives. Everyone agrees it was pointless and the country was better off when it ended than when it began. The insane war against marijuana (and other drugs) falls into the same category, yet quixotically it’s only now that people seem to be waking up to that fact.

The DEA even acknowledges this fact, yet continue to vehemently support the War on Drugs.

Former DEA senior intelligence specialist Sean Dunagan told VICE News that, although it’s too early to verify the numbers: “Anything to establish a regulated legal market will necessarily cut into those profits. And it won’t be a viable business for the Mexican cartels — the same way bootleggers disappeared after prohibition fell.”

Why keep the war going then? For the same reason that any bloated government agency vocally cries out when their validity is questioned: money and power. The DEA gets a massive amount of funding – 2.77 Billion dollars in 2013. With the legalization of marijuana, which is unquestionably the most used “illegal” drug and the most smuggled, that already unjustifiable budget stands out as in dire need for trimming.

“The DEA doesn’t want the drug war to end,” said (retired federal agent) Terry Nelson, when asked about a possible connection between the agency’s hatred of legal pot and its buddies in Sinaloa. “If it ends, they don’t get their toys and their budgets. Once it ends, they aren’t going to have the kind of influence in foreign government. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but where there’s smoke there’s probably fire.”

Nelson makes a fantastic point – drug smuggling isn’t just good for the smugglers, but also good for our own forces who can use relationships and the ability to “look the other way” to their own advantage and that of their friends in power. Vice goes much deeper into the cozy relationship between the DEA and Cartels in its article. It’s worth a read.

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36 thoughts on “Legalized Pot Hurting Mexico Cartels & Infuriating DEA

  1. Robert What? says:

    This is something most people knew, but it is good to have it “semi-officially” acknowledged. There are three groups that profit from the “war on drugs”: the drug lords,their American distributors, and the DEA. All profit royally off the misery of other people.I don’t expect them to go down without a fight, eespecially the DEA.

  2. michael says:

    The DEA is no better than the Cartels themselves……I can only hope this is the beginning of ridding the American taxpayer of just one bloated Fed agency wasting our money!!!!

  3. Lex Talionis is the only law necessary to properly control drug use:

    "…In view of the fact that neither Amendment 18 nor church decrees have deterred drunkenness or drug abuse, what can be done about them? Although drunkenness is a sin against Yahweh (what in many instances amounts to idolatry7), it is the crimes committed by intoxicated people, not the drunkenness itself, that need to be prosecuted:

    ' …if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; breach for breach [fracture for fracture, NASB], eye for eye, tooth for tooth [or life for life – Deuteronomy 19:21]: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.' (Leviticus 24:19-20)

    "This law, known as lex talionis, is also the judgment (when required by the injured party) in cases of criminal negligence:

    'When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement [railing] for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence.' (Deuteronomy 22:8)….

    "Deuteronomy 22:8, which requires railings around rooftops, is not so much about rooftops as it is criminal negligence. This statute applies to all hazards a person might incur as the result of another person’s negligence. In addition to home safety, this statute applies to the workplace and construction zones, as well as machinery such as farm equipment and automobiles. For example, if demonstrable negligence is established against a tire company for accidents caused by tread separation, the people or company responsible should be held liable according to lex talionis and compelled to pay lost wages and hospital bills to the injured or disabled victims. These judgments would go much further in curbing companies from taking cost-saving, but potentially dangerous shortcuts, than do encroaching bureaucracies such as OSHA, the FAA, or the FDA.

    "In similar fashion, lex talionis should be applied to those who abuse alcohol and drugs and thereby injure or kill others:

    'An individual who deliberately distorts his own perceptions is implicitly attacking God and his God-created environment…. He then makes decisions under the influence of alcohol or drugs that can physically damage others because of his self-induced distorted perceptions. Drunk drivers are therefore to be prosecuted as criminally negligent, should their acts cause damage. They have “torn off the pit cover” [Exodus 21:33-34, or “removed the railing”: Deuteronomy 22:8] with impunity. Their injury-inflicting acts are not to be considered as accidents…. Their injury-inflicting actions are rather the product of an act of moral rebellion: the implicit denial of their own personal responsibility for their actions….' (Gary North, Tools of Dominion: The Case Laws of Exodus (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1990/1997) p. 532.)

    "Because Yahweh’s law does not altogether prohibit alcohol or drugs, the answer is not to make them illegal as the Eighteenth Amendment (and church edict) did. Just as Amendment 18 was inept at controlling alcoholic consumption, so are current drug regulations. Responsible use should be promoted by punishing only those who cause harm to another person or his property. For example, instead of attempting to curb drunk driving by prohibiting excessive alcohol consumption, any drunk driver convicted of causing or contributing to the death of an innocent person should be put to death or forced to pay whatever the next of kin requires as ransom for his life. If the injured or disabled party does not die, the convicted felon (instead of an insurance company) should be compelled to pay for medical expenses and financial compensation for lost wages during convalescence. This compensation should be in addition to an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or the required ransom…."

    For more, see online Chapter 27 "Amendment 18: Prohibition: Repealed For Good Reason" of "Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective" at http://www.bibleversusconstitution.org/BlvcOnline….

  4. Government and drug lords always oppose legalization, because both are organized crime.

  5. Kiowa1000 says:

    The biggest anti-legalization lobbies in Washington ARE the cartels – that says it all about corrupt politicians (Cartels are big business), self serving organizational behavior of organizations such as the DEA, the greed of drug Cartesl themselves, and the dishonesty of the press who protect their political allies by not reporting the truth. 'Nough said.

  6. The present administration also wants as many government employees in the US under arms as possible. This is part of Obama's private army. From the beginning of his reign he claimed the need for it and he has quietly built it. The information is out there if you look for it. I know it makes me very nervous. See my blog at http://cranky-conservative.blogspot.com

  7. patrick looney says:

    LEGALIZATION coupled with personal responsibility and drug testing for all politicians and welfare recipients is long overdue.

  8. David in MA says:

    Now, disband the DEA and open it as a sub-agency storefront under the FBI.
    Then look at Homeland Security, obammy care, FCC, NSA, AND then,
    take obammy with YA to the dumpster!

  9. David in MA says:

    BUT, will these private army people stand for Obama knowing they will have return fire?

    Can you imagine Urkel in the IRS with an AR-15 facing Joe Hunter with his AR-!5 and Urkel knowing he can't hit chit…and Hunter can, …. Bye Bye Urkel!

    FOR THE REPUBLIC
    MOLON LABBE!

  10. Don't forget the CIA. The run the biggest drug business of China White out of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Remember that war?! The CIA uses the money from selling heroin to fund their 'of the books' activities.

  11. Let's hope that History does not repeat itself – in 1934 the National Firearms Act was passed, in part, to "give unemployed Bureau of Prohibition Agents some work".

    I could see Progressives passing a ban on handguns just to give the DEA people something to do. Add the DEA staff to an expanded BATF&E.

    Crazy? So is outlawing Ditch Weed.

  12. I do NOT use Drugs of any type. I do not approve of drug use. That said I have for over Forty years asked why mot Legalize it to put the Drug dealers out of business? The answer is simple if you look at the why. MORE GOVERNMENT CONTROL OVER YOUR LIVES! OUR Government now has a good reason to have a Standing Army of Law Enforcement . ARMED as well as an ARMY with laws We the PEOPLE would never accept otherwise! WAKE UP SHEEP!

  13. mrsgunnut10 says:

    Good to hear that the Cartels are getting hurt. Now all we have to do is wait until there are POT Vending Machines on every Street Corner, in all Societal Drink Places ( BARS ), Resterants, Street Side Toilets, Ect:, Ect:,. Oh Joy, Joy, get on with it POT growers. WE THE PEOPLE can hardly wait. Thank you for your time. TSgt., USAF Retired.

  14. You can add to the list of people we can now cut back on are prison guards,prison staff, street police, border patrol [they already have their hands tied] and all the political lies.

  15. countmein says:

    I personally do not use drugs of any kind, save for an occasional drink with friends, which I will admit to. I have been preaching to anyone who would listen about the lesser of two evils for decades now. Namely the legalization of ALL drugs being just that, the lesser of two evils. Legalize ALL drugs and watch what happens to drive by shootings, drug turf wars, and convenience store robberies. We have not in the last 5 or 6 decades even put a dent into "the war on drugs", and we won't in the future for a number of reasons. You mention three groups that profit from the war on drugs, and you are basically, correct but you need to expand the DEA just a tad bit more, to include "ALL" of law enforcement which to them is a huge part of their lives. By "law enforcement" I mean the following. The DEA of course, plus all of the following, police, sheriffs and highway patrols, courts and judges, probation officers, wardens, contractors who build courthouses, jails, and prisons, jail and prison guards, companies that supply daily expendables to courthouses, jails and prisons. I could go on but I think that you now have the idea that it is MUCH larger than just the DEA who is against drug legalization since it does the same thing to them that it is currently doing to the DEA, cutting into their turf so to speak. It is estimated that people who are currently incarcerated in our country's jails and prisons are now more than 60% of those populations, are related to drug offenses. Colorado and a few others have finally taken a correct step in the right direction. Signed, count me in for legalization.

  16. FRENCHIE says:

    WELL, WHAT DID THEY THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN WHEN THE PUSH TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA GAINED STEAM ? DUH…..BYE-BYE CARTELS, BYE-BYE BLACK MARKET, BYE-BYE NEED FOR ANOTHER OVER-SIZED, OVER FUNDED, & OVER-POWERED GOVERNMENT AGENCY. THE DEA WOULDN'T HAVE EVER EXISTED IF IT HADN'T BEEN FOR HARRY "A.J." ANSLINGER SCREAMING "THE SKY IS FALLING" LIKE CHICKEN LITTLE & DEMONIZING MARIJUANA TO THE POINT THAT THE PUBLIC THOUGHT IT WAS AS BAD AS HEROIN & HAD TO BE ERADICATED AT ONCE WITH NO DELAY. NOW PEOPLE ARE FINALLY WAKING UP TO THE TRUTH & THEY'RE SEEING THEIR JOBS IN JEOPARDY. NATURALLY, IT'S GOING TO INFURIATE THEM. THE CARTELS ARE LOSING MONEY HAND OVER FIST & IT'S DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO LEGALIZATION. WASN'T THAT SUPPOSED TO BE THE POINT OF ENFORCING DRUG LAWS ? FUNNY HOW LEGALIZATION HAS DONE MORE TO HURT THE CARTELS THAN ENFORCEMENT EVER COULD, ISN'T IT ? IT ALSO BRINGS UP THE QUESTION OF JUST HOW MUCH DOES THE DEA REALLY NEED FOR IT'S BUDGET NOW, OR SHOULD WE JUST TRASH IT ALTOGETHER & LET THE STATES DEAL WITH ENFORCEMENT AS IT WAS ALWAYS REALLY MEANT TO BE ??? YES, IT IS A "STATES RIGHTS" ISSUE & REALLY ALWAYS HAS BEEN. READ YOUR CONSTITUTION, PEOPLE. 10th AMENDMENT………………………………………….

  17. bu4848lldurham48 says:

    I am in total disagreement with the idea of legalizing drugs of any kind. I have personally seen the effects of smoking
    drugs. From simple pot to its stronger form hash. I spend 8 years in Germany, I saw young American soldiers who were exposed to pot/hash the first time in their lives, they went from pot to the better high of hash, I watched as their mental abilities went from great to slow motion and just plain sloppy. They lost all sense of care or initiative, and end up being mentally useless for any task or job that required them to concentrate or use judgement. All the experts that say this really isn't going to happen are in it for the money. Military records are full of examples and if you travel to Europe and see for yours self the generation of drug users who are just marginal performers and limited success. So if you want your children and grand childern to wander around like half dead slap happy fools be my guest. You are paying for it. And since the increase in drug use in America there has been a marked increase the children of these hramless drugs having learning disabilities, ADHD and so on. All you have to do is look check the facts. Before the drug generation of the 60's there was very little mental disabilities with children, but look now, its every where. If thats acceptable to you great smoke it up, you will end up with a family of idiots and you are to blame.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I was no angel during the 1960s and am familiar with this topic. I also have taught English to folks, some of whom I suspect are involved in this business. My former-liberal stance is that ha ha, all those involved may just have to get real jobs and toil like the rest of us. Aw, poor babies.

  19. gils7671 says:

    I think that it is time to take a good look at all federal agencies. We have too much duplication going on. The FBI's purpose was primarily to go after mobsters involved in interstate crimes and spies. Now we have them frequently involved in domestic crimes that local sheriffs and police are responsible for. We have too many military style swat teams. ATF is another agency that needs a close look just as Eric Holder.

  20. Big Pharma has increased the supply of prescription drugs in the last 30 years to an unbelievable number. Basically everyone can be made to fit a label of some sort where they need these prescription drugs. Young children all the way through those in there 90's are being prescribed some sort of anti-depression drug. I was furious when I found out my 91 year old mother was given anti-depressants. Those of us who grew up in the 60's do not hold a candle to what the FDA has approved Big Pharma to sell and then of course there is the illegal market/use of their so called legal drugs that are far more devastating than Pot.

  21. Exactly. To put it even more bluntly: There are really only 2 groups that profit from prohibition: Criminals and cops.

  22. Robert Rose says:

    Take your silver lining where you can find it. I expect the pot havens of Washington and Colorado to fall by the economic wayside. There are addictive properties and health risks (similar to cigarettes) to marijuana that are only now starting to be understood. "Mary J" is more dangerous than alcohol ever thought of being. Washington and Colorado will be the sad social experiments that prove it.
    Come to think of it, a substance which was illegal long before the 60's revolution, that causes people to risk everything important to them, a criminal record, prison time, reputation, and financial ruin, and a proven lead-in to harder drugs, has to be pretty nasty. This incredible mind grip shows marijuana is nothing to be trifled with. Time will expose this legalization error.

  23. Finkster says:

    Come on Folks. Why do you think the Progressive Liberals are pushing for Legalization across America. They want to profit from it. Not just the tax revenue.

  24. I thought you said there were two groups?

  25. The War on Drugs is even a failure as a Jobs creation program. It only creates government jobs and burden on the economy.

  26. Yes. But why are you YELLING!

  27. This is something Milton Friedman said four decades ago; “If you want to end the drug cartels, make drugs legal.” We don’t see SaveOn and RiteAid having turf wars.

  28. Chemiker says:

    Do not forget the Courts, the prosecution, and the defense. Everyone gets a bite of the apple.

  29. bu4848llduham48,

    You bought the lie (drank the koolaid) that somehow we need to make it a crime when someone does something detrimental to themselves.

    No, you and the rest of society are paying (being punished) for what you want to be a crime.

    Should everything else that people do to themselves be made a crime ?!

    Drug laws, drunk driving laws, etc., are made for supporting the Law Enforcement Growth Industry, as well as eliminating competition for big pharma.

    Don't you get it ??

    Make it illegal (Malim Prohibitum), make this drug illegal, lower the alcohol limit, increase the penalties for repeat offenders, mandatory (and higher) insurance, the more revenue to be gained, the more judges and staff needed, courts and jails to be built and maintained, more police and jailers to be hired, more laws to legislate, more courts, more lawyers, more judges, etc., etc., etc.  

    And ALL OF YOU get to pay for it ALL, including the 80-90.00/day it costs to house the prisoners (about 30.00/day for parole/probation).  Who's really the ones being punished ??!

    See my full Comment posted below.

  30. I guess you have to ask yourself a question. Who will influence politicians more. The crying DEA that gets a smaller piece of the pie and does not contribute campaign money to the politicians that reside over them or the pot growers association that becomes maximum contributors of campaign contributions. I think the money usually wins unless the DEA is able to acquire damaging info on enough politicians to negate the money influence of the pot growers association. It should be interesting to see who comes out on top in this dog fight. I personally think drug use is a waist of time and resources myself.

  31. bulldurham48 says:

    Sir, if you wish to have brain damaged children, people walking around with their minds in a cloud and a Nation of brain dead idiots go ahead, it won't bother me one bit. In the next few years I will be gone, to old now , but you will be here to suffer through your own ignorance of the facts. Drugs are a big business for all , businessmen, politicians and government officials not just cartel members, why do you think we have to stopped the drug trade? The military could stop th crap totally in less than 6 months period. but all the big folks will not lt them, always vote against anything to stop drugs and illegal immigration because it big bucks. Drugs for the stupid people and illegals for the businesses. As long as there are idiots who want to get high to get through life there will be the big folks to help them be stupid. Have a ball.

  32. old Sarge says:

    Reply to Robert:
    I smoked my first joint in Vietnam in 1972. I have smoked almost daily since BY CHOICE. I have not progressed to harder drugs in 42 years. Nor have I lost a job or any suffered any side effects except for an increase in appreciation of taste, sound, appetite, and the World around me; especially Nature and all life. I totally disagree with your assessment.
    Alcohol is incredibly worse in all sub categories. I fully support legalization of marijuana, but not other ACTUAL drugs.

  33. heatherngillis says:

    Sorry, but the science just really doesn't back you up. What is just starting to be understood about pot is how NOT harmful it is…and how extremely medically useful. At the moment, Colorado is a destination for medical tourism. Why? Because there is NOTHING, absolutely nothing, that helps some forms of extreme jyvenile epilepsy as well as the oil of a pRticular strain of cannabis. Other medical uses abound.

  34. Nah, the cartels will just switch to growing and selling heroin.

  35. Well said Bulldurham48! You pretty much nailed it!

  36. CharlieFromMass says:

    Most interesting. I'm sure the government will do everything possible to not learn any lessons.

    My long-time stance has been de-criminalize marijuana altogether and move the other drugs to civil offenses with fines only, unless injury to people or property results from specific instances of distribution or use (for example, DUI-type statutes.)