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Would Legalized Pot Help In The Effort To Put The Mexican Drug Cartels Out Of Business?: Left of Center View

Yes! Let me amend that, wait, sorry, what was the question?

Crazy as it may sound, in this past election the two groups campaigning hard against Prop 19 were the Conservatives and the Growers. Making the plant legal would be a big blow, not just to the Mexican Cartels, but to all factions of organized and not so organized crime. Of course the Cartels and everyone else working the other side of the law will still have plenty of other illegitimate business opportunities to fall back on but pot was just easy money.

Look it takes a lot of time and effort to grow, harvest and process most street drugs. Heroin, cocaine, crack, meth, heck even booze, all require some sort of processing prior to use. Not Pot. Ok, you do have to dry it, but that’s still a whole heck of a lot easier than a process that involves a Bunsen burner and measuring cups. Pot just is man.

And it is everywhere. Pot is easier to get in most California high schools than beer. In fact it has become so prevalent in the coastal culture that it is more socially acceptable to light up a joint than it is a cigarette. Did you see any of the news reports from this past World Series – “They’re smoking weed over there.” It became a national punch-line. Just another San Francisco quirk...

For the Cartels pot is no laughing matter. Experts claim that smuggling pot into the U.S. accounts for more than ½ of their overall income. Just like the prohibition era gangsters before them, the Cartels are profiting from the deregulation of a popular social substance. No regulation means no taxes or fees, no quality control, no quotas, no labor requirements. By dealing in an illegal substance, the Cartels can operate with an eye to generating a maximum profit.

Let’s not get all silly here and say that legalizing pot will shut down the Cartels, 'cause it won’t. Legalizing pot is more likely to shut down the little mom and pop dealers that grow in their back yards and garages. But what it does do it take away a sizeable and easy source of revenue, you want to screw up something simple, get the government involved. With increased government involvement will come increased scrutiny and eventually the Cartels will have to move on to other endeavors. Take away the market and you take away the merchant.

Pot isn’t going away. People are going to smoke it. That you can’t change, what you can change is who benefits from it and who doesn’t and anything that weakens the Cartel’s presence in the U.S. should be seen as a benefit. Kind of ironic isn’t it, all these people getting all stressed out over the substance people use to get rid of stress.

Thanks for listening - Bill


Berkeley Bill - California | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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Would Legalized Pot Help In The Effort To Put The Mexican Drug Cartels Out Of Business?: Right of Center View

Well, it depends on what you mean by out of business. If by out of business you mean they would go from being criminals to legitimate businessmen overnight then I guess you could say it would put them out of business. Just like the Kennedys went from being bootleggers to kingmakers when prohibition was repealed the Mexican drug cartels would go from being common criminals to billionaire businessmen when their stockpiles of pot became legal.

About the only upside to legalization is that there would be tax revenue coming in from the sale of pot. With the normalization of pot use it would become as common as alcohol use if not more so. You have to ask yourself at that point when heroin or crack will become legal. If you’re going to make one illicit drug legal why stop there? If everyone has been wrong about pot being dangerous then what’s to say they weren’t wrong about methamphetamine? Maybe meth has some previously unknown health benefits that we’ve just needed a speed fiend to discover and reveal to the world. Maybe the hippies were right all along and LSD is the key to spiritual enlightenment.

This movement to make dangerous drugs legal is appalling. Because the use of drugs has become pervasive in our society some people have decided that it must be alright. It’s the “but everyone is doing it” defense that none of our parents gave even half a second worth of consideration to. What I can’t figure out is how we went from having some sense as a society to listening to a bunch of pot heads about what public policy should be. California just narrowly defeated legalizing pot for recreational use. Talk about going to hell in a hand basket... It seems like we are losing our collective minds when it comes to making common sense decisions about our laws.

In study after study of addicts’ behavior the addicts have noted pot as their first exposure to drugs. In seeking a bigger high they move on to the harder drugs like cocaine, heroin and LSD but it usually starts with pot. That is why pot is known as a gateway drug. It opens the door to drug use and because of its mild effects gives users a false sense of security when it comes to drug use overall. Regardless of the fiscal benefits of legalization it is just too dangerous. From the sudden legitimization of drug cartels that have killed tens of thousands of people in the pursuit of drug profits to the opening of the door to harder drug use making pot legal is just a bad idea. It has been deemed a dangerous drug for a reason and we need to remember that when we start talking about making it legal.

The Realist - Patriot at Large | E-mail Comments on this column. | Click icon to Digg this article

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