With the recent elections in the United States, there were some changes to certain laws regarding the legal status of marijuana in two states. Both Washington and Colorado officially made pot available to people for legal recreational use.
Considering that the drug cartels in Mexico make a decent portion of their money from selling to customers in the U.S., this change could impact them in a significant manner. Legalization for recreational use means a change in the supply and demand of the U.S, which will require different policies in Mexico.
Studies show two differing opinions when it comes to the effect that pot legalization will have on cartel profits. Some show a loss of billions of dollars for those in the illegal transport of the drug. If this is true, then the cartels will take a severe hit in the wallet, which could help Mexico significantly. Other studies, however, show a minor and almost negligible affect on cartel revenues, which would mean nothing changes.
One solution that Mexico is looking toward is the complete legalization and state control of marijuana throughout their country. If the government controlled the crop, then cartels would lose all of their customers within the borders of the country and Mexico could then sell to the United States in a limited capacity. This would have a much stronger impact on cartels than the limited legalization that now exists.
As election years come and go, the U.S. will no doubt see a snowball affect where it comes to pot being accepted as a mainstream drug, so the cartels will eventually lose control over that revenue source altogether.
A country-wide adoption of marijuana legality in Mexico will speed that process along, providing new money to the government that is taken directly out of the pockets of cartels. This could be an important turning point in Mexico’s seemingly endless drug war, providing they use this opportunity to their advantage.