Drug War’s Superhero

Summary and opinion by Mariama McGee.

Recently data has shown that legal marijuana has taken a chunk out of the Mexican cartel’s profit. Data from the United States Border Patrol shows that marijuana has reached its lowest level in the last decade. Only a rough estimate of 1.9 million pounds of marijuana have been at the border yet it was nearly 4 million in 2009. Data also shows that there has been a difficulty of growers since competition has increased in the north. Because of this, prices have fallen in majority of the sales. In 2014, a Mexican marijuana grower could sell a kilogram for 60 to 90 dollars while now a kilogram will only sell for 30 to 40 dollars. There is a difficulty not just in prices but also in quality. The quality of Mexican and Caribbean marijuana is thought to be superior so the cartel is trying to produce higher quality to compete with the U.S.

Even federal authorities are starting to believe it such as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli who actually said that “given the increase in marijuana use among the American population this suggests that people using marijuana in the United States may be increasingly obtaining marijuana from domestic sources.” The domestic sources of marijuana however are mainly the medical marijuana markets in the states, primarily California. The small recreational marijuana markets are only having a smaller impact. The reason for this is there are many licensed and unlicensed production in California. California still remains the leader of illegal production of marijuana for more than 60 percent of all marijuana seized in the U.S. is from them.

The drug production is changing so much that even the DEA has found information that the flow of marijuana is changing and that US marijuana is being smuggled to Mexico.

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