Legalization of drugs is cutting into the profit margins of drug cartels. Just like ending alcohol prohibition ended alcohol smuggling and alcohol mafia dealings. Are the DEA and the US prison industry interested in keeping up the war against marijuana?
“Is it hurting the cartels? Yes. The cartels are criminal organizations that were making as much as 35-40 percent of their income from marijuana,” Nelson said, “They aren’t able to move as much cannabis inside the US now.”
Seven important truths about how the world takes drugs in 2014. Read more here.
In 2012, a study by the Mexican Competitiveness Institute found that US state legalization would cut into cartel business and take over about 30 percent of their market.
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.”
DEA chief of operations James Capra told senators this January that legalization "scares us" and is "reckless and irresponsible." And the agency is continuing to crack down on marijuana.
Given the DEA’s historic relationship with the Sinaloa cartel, and the agency’s fury over legalized marijuana, it almost seems like the DEA wants to crush the legal weed market in order to protect the interests of their cartel friends. Almost.
‘I am the person who handed over El Chapo’: A VICE News exclusive. Read here.
“The DEA doesn’t want the drug war to end,” said 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.”