Sunday, 29 June 2014

Mexican Farmers Suffering Under New Drug Law. Or: "Legal Pot in the US Is Crippling Mexican Cartels"

"The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that pot farmers in the Sinaloa region have stopped planting due to a massive drop in wholesale prices, from $100 per kilo down to only $25. One farmer is quoted as saying: “It’s not worth it anymore. I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization.”"

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.”
More at the O'Hara link (VICE news) where she touches on the DEA's cash flow which depends in part on pot being illegal.

The biggest rewards in society come from directing the whole thing.  That's why the state ends up with a monopoly of violence and the citizens trade it for a measure of peace.  When government jacks up the market in marijuana by making it illegal, the profits become so good that the state surrenders some of its monopoly. That control of violence migrates to cartels and street gangs to protect their market, a market that depends on a government law to make it illegal.   Distribution of goods depends on rationing or markets.  Laws that outlaw pot are the extreme form of rationing.   The response is an extreme pot market with guns and murder.
Prohibition poster of the slippery slope 

The Washington Post story says the Mexican farmers are switching to heroin  because government law still locks in high profits for them.  Appalled as I am at the thought cheap heroin everywhere, I think it's better than subsidizing criminal gangs with anti-heroin laws.  Hell, "subsidizing" is the wrong word, try "creating".

Parting thought from Dunagan's quote:

"Bootleggers disappeared after prohibition fell".

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