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
JUN 18, 2020
Health & Medicine
Non-Straight Men Find Cannabis Helps With Intimacy
JUN 18, 2020
Non-Straight Men Find Cannabis Helps With Intimacy
Previous studies have shown that cannabis use can make for better quality sex, both physically and emotionally, but this ...
JUN 20, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Prolonged Cannabis Use May Prevent Migraines
JUN 20, 2020
Prolonged Cannabis Use May Prevent Migraines
Between 1% and 2% of the world's population suffers from chronic migraines. Researchers from Israel have now found t ...
JUL 26, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Medicinal Cannabis Kills Cancer Cells
JUL 26, 2020
Medicinal Cannabis Kills Cancer Cells
Researchers at the University of Newcastle have found that a modified version of medicinal cannabis can kill and inhibit ...
JUL 30, 2020
Health & Medicine
Navy Goes Overboard on Hemp Ban for Sailors and Marines
JUL 30, 2020
Navy Goes Overboard on Hemp Ban for Sailors and Marines
It may be a federally legal crop, but the Sailors and Marines of the US navy have been told they cannot use hemp in any ...
AUG 24, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Vets Warn Against Using CBD for Pets
AUG 24, 2020
Vets Warn Against Using CBD for Pets
As cannabis products have grown in popularity, the stigma around them is falling, while knowledge is increasing. CBD, th ...
SEP 03, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Could Help Reduce Diabetes Risk in Hepatitis C Patients
SEP 03, 2020
Cannabis Could Help Reduce Diabetes Risk in Hepatitis C Patients
It’s known that patients with hepatitis C have an increased risk of developing insulin resistance and diabetes. &n ...
Loading Comments...