MEXICO CITY — A study released Wednesday by a respected Mexican think tank asserts that proposals to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Colorado, Oregon and Washington could cut Mexican drug cartels’ earnings from traffic to the U.S. by as much as 30 percent.

UPDATE: Colorado First State to End Marijuana Prohibition.

Opponents questioned some of the study’s assumptions, saying the proposals could also offer new opportunities for cartels to operate inside the U.S. and replace any profit lost to a drop in international smuggling. The ballot measures to be decided on Nov. 6 would allow adults to possess small amounts of pot under a regimen of state regulation and taxation. Polls have shown tight races in Washington and Colorado, with Washington’s measure appearing to have the best chance of passing. Oregon’s measure, which would impose the fewest regulations, does not appear likely to pass.

The study by the Mexican Competitiveness Institute, “If Our Neighbors Legalize,” assumes that legalization in any state would allow growers there to produce marijuana relatively cheaply and create an illicit flow to other states, where the drug could be made available at cheaper prices and higher quality than Mexican marijuana smuggled across the international border.

The report, based on previous studies by U.S. experts including those at the RAND Corporation, assumes that Mexican cartels earn more than $6 billion a year from drug smuggling to the U.S.

It calculates the hypothetical, post-legalization price of marijuana produced in Oregon, Washington and Colorado and sold within those states and smuggled to other states. It then assumes that purchasers around the U.S. will choose domestic marijuana when it is sold cheaper than the current price of Mexican marijuana. That choice will lead to a loss of $1.425 billion to the cartels if Colorado legalizes, $1.372 billion if Washington approves the ballot measure, and $1.839 billion if Oregon votes yes, the study says.

At least when I vote for this amendment today, I won’t feel the need to throw up.



  1. Glenn E. says:

    Oh No! We can have a domestically grown product, unfairly competing with an illegal import. What would the international bankers, behind it all, do for money to buy their ivy back scratchers? Vote against this so the intl. money men can afford to buy back scratchers. Which themselves are an illegal trade item.

  2. McCullough says:

    I think your right, the banks that launder the drug cartels money, Wells Fargo, BOA, etc…are not going to let the states get away with this. Whoever becomes their bitch, either Obama or Romney, will just lick their boots.

  3. Shubee says:

    It’s crazy to classify marijuana as a schedule 1 drug because the National Cancer Institute admits that cannabinoids may be useful in treating cancer.

    http://everythingimportant.org/cancer

  4. NobodySpecial says:

    Never mind Mexico – what about the damage it would do to the economy of Vancouver!

  5. Public says:

    Road trips to co and wa!

    Univ of wash better staff up. A sea of new applications is coming, I predict

    This may be the stuff of songs to be written

  6. Sea Lawyer says:

    It is still a violation of federal law, and Obama has heretofore not shown any desire to scale back the war on drugs.

    • NobodySpecial says:

      Anybody from Washington feel like going to rural Oregon and telling them that they don’t have any state rights?

  7. SPOCK says:

    i’d personally rather pay a little extra from a shop where the customer could receive verified strains. nobody wants to go through dodgy dealers. and i don’t mean to speak as someone who is a pot-head with one too many baked brain cells, but someone who smokes in moderation, and does think about personal and societal impacts, etc. but in the end, i do feel legalization is a smart move if people can handle it ‘responsibly’, but that will be the question.

  8. What? says:

    Big Alcohol is afraid of losing money to Pot?

    • Shubee says:

      It makes sense to me that Big Alcohol is afraid of losing money to Pot. Or do you believe that Big Alcohol contributes money to the war on cannabis because they’re morally outraged that American citizens seek an altered state of mind as a form of recreation?

  9. orchidcup says:

    The error seems not sufficiently eradicated, that the operations of the mind, as well as the acts of the body, are subject to the coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit.

    We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others.

    … Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. Thus in France the emetic was once forbidden as a medicine, and the potatoe as an article of food.

    — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
    Source: Jefferson’s Notes on Viriginia, Query XVII (1781-1785)

  10. orchidcup says:

    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

    The majority, oppressing an individual, is guilty of a crime, abuses its strength, and by acting on the law of the strongest breaks up the foundations of society.

    If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.

    — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President

  11. deowll says:

    I don’t care if it is legal as long as using it can still be considered grounds for termination.


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