Marijuana Legalization Made Mexican Small Pot Farmer Lose Profit
By Staff Writer
Mexico is known to be source of marijuana sold in the U.S. and a large scale plantation of marijuana have been found in the country. Mexican illicit marijuana plantation, either big or small, have enjoyed benefits by trafficking marijuana to United States. However, recent circumstance regarding loosening law in some states has shown a drastic decline of their income.
Marijuana has been declared illegal in United States for nearly 80 years according to federal law. USA Today reported that the marijuana related cases have accounted for 8.2 million arrests nationwide between 2001 and 2010. However, the attitude of Americans toward marijuana have shifted as many states now legalized marijuana.
Previously, only 12% American people supported marijuana legalization in 1969, but according in 2013 more than half of American, as many as 58% supported the end to marijuana prohibition. California is the first state that legalized the weed for medicinal purpose in 1996, and today, there are 23 states in United States have legalized pot for medical use. Four of the states: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington have also allowed cultivation and sale for recreational purpose.
Nevertheless, the legalization of marijuana have taken a toll to its neighboring country, Mexico. The Mexican drug cartels that has been enjoying weed trafficking for years now have to compete with locally produced and planted marijuana in U.S.. Antonio Mazzitelli, the representative in Mexico for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime told Los Angeles Times that "Changes on the other side of the border are making marijuana less profitable for organizations like the Cartel de Sinaloa."
Cartel of Sinaloa that Mazzitelli mentioned is the group of small scale growers in Sinaloa state in northwestern Mexico. The area is known as the one of largest marijuana production areas in Mexico. The farmers said that within last four years their income have declined, as they were able to sell weed for $100 per kilogram, but now it is only worth $30 a kilogram.
However, the Mexican drug cartel is more resourceful than every one expected and they have diversified their products. Deborah Bonello, the Los Angeles Times correspondent who wrote a report the marijuana small farmers, said the farmers now stop cultivating marijuana because it is not a very good business.
She told Marco Werman in an interview with Public Radio International, "A lot of the farmers in the hills are switching to poppies because it's more lucrative and a stronger market, so the cartels have definitely spread their bets in terms of their investments in heroin, methamphetamines and the transportation of cocaine — not to mention extortion and kidnapping — so it's definitely not going to put them out of business."
Legalization of marijuana will not stop the drugs problem in U.S. and Mexico border, because it also involves heroin and other illicit drugs.