DEC 06, 2018 4:50 PM PST

Mexico Next Country to Legalize Marijuana?

WRITTEN BY: Amy Loriaux

Unfortunately for the lovely country of Mexico, a bloody drug war has been ravaging its citizens for decades. Cartels control whole towns, kidnappings occur almost daily, and murder has become commonplace in some areas. However, this may change soon. According to Reuters, the Mexican Supreme Court has ruled in favor of legalizing the production of marijuana, which could perhaps be the first step to legalizing recreational marijuana for the whole country. The implications run deeper than allowing pot smokers to smoke in peace. This could indicate a new step for the cartels - legitimization. 

Photo Source: UnSplash.com

Marijuana has been cultivated in Mexico for centuries. As opposed to the licensed weed producers in Canada (and some US states), poor farmers often chose marijuana over other crops due to its market value. This, and pressure from the cartels, have given the Mexican people a long history of growing pot. The climate is perfect for cannabis sativa, which prefers more tropical regions. The type of cannabis known as "sensimilla" (translated: seedless"), a very common breed in marijuana counter-culture, was first developed in Mexico, on one of the largest plots of land ever to be used to cultivate cannabis.

So what could this court ruling mean for the cartels? This is not a country like Canada or the United States. The cartels are, for all intents and purposes, the de facto purveyor of marijuana. What happens at the end of prohibition? The illegal producers become industrialists. And legalization may not be hurting the cartels as was expected. Get this, according to the Rand Corporation, legal marijuana use in California only cost the cartels 2 to 4 percent of their revenue.  

Photo Source: pixabay.com

Why would cartels possibly benefit from recreational legalization in Mexico, or particularly, in the United States, where they make $19 to $29 billion in sales every year? Well, the Mexican drug cartels are infamous for their adaptability and sensitivity to the drug markets. They are not your typical gang-bangers. These are well-structured organizations, almost like legitimate corporations - except the way they do business includes several violent tactics. But more importantly, future legalization in Mexico may create a "grey market" for the cartels to occupy. According to an op-ed piece in Brookings, if marijuana became legal, it would be taxed, like the Colorado model. The higher the tax, the greater the opportunity for the cartels to undercut the state by charging less.  

So where does the assumption come from that the cartels could look to this as a chance to legitimize? History. In the US in the 1920s, large-scale bootleggers like Al Capone built criminal empires out of illegal distribution efforts. However, these mafioso were only in the business of distribution. Where did this liquor come from? From places like Canada and the Carribean. Guess who was positioned to profit once Prohibition ended? Those Canadian and Carribean distilleries. If marijuana is legalized in Mexico, who better to get in the game than those who already have the manufacturing, distribution, and know-how to profit? 

 

SourcesReuters, LabRoots.com, Wikipedia - Mexican Drug War, www.Rand.org, The Washington PostBrookings.com, www.history.com 

About the Author
  • I currently work at a small CRO involved in clinical trial management.
You May Also Like
AUG 20, 2020
Health & Medicine
Does Recreational Marijuana Out-of-Hours Affect Work Performance?
AUG 20, 2020
Does Recreational Marijuana Out-of-Hours Affect Work Performance?
Imagine that after a busy day at work you kick back with a relaxing cannabis joint. In many states that is now entirely ...
SEP 16, 2020
Health & Medicine
72% of Canadian Cannabis Users Say They Don't Fit Stoner Stereotype
SEP 16, 2020
72% of Canadian Cannabis Users Say They Don't Fit Stoner Stereotype
    Nearly three-quarters  (72 percent) of  cannabis users simply don’t see themselves as fitt ...
SEP 21, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Why Do We Build Tolerance to Cannabis?
SEP 21, 2020
Why Do We Build Tolerance to Cannabis?
Many notice that after regularly smoking cannabis, it takes more and more to feel its effects- if any at all. While abst ...
SEP 25, 2020
Health & Medicine
Does Cannabis Affect Brain Health in Older People?
SEP 25, 2020
Does Cannabis Affect Brain Health in Older People?
Demographic data shows rising cannabis use among older people, so what is the likely effect on cognitive funct ...
OCT 22, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Reduces OCD Symptoms by 50%
OCT 22, 2020
Cannabis Reduces OCD Symptoms by 50%
Researchers from Washington State University have found that smoking cannabis can lead to a short term reduction in up t ...
DEC 28, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Does Cannabis Affect Stress in Men and Women Differently?
DEC 28, 2020
Does Cannabis Affect Stress in Men and Women Differently?
Researchers from Washington State University have found that cannabis may blunt the stress response differently in males ...
Loading Comments...