Why legal pot in U.S. won’t bring real peace to Mexico

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Why legal pot in U.S. won’t bring real peace to Mexico

Athena
This ties into the following recent posts by Nuttz: http://borderland-beat-forum.924382.n3.nabble.com/Blood-marijuana-Where-is-your-pot-really-coming-from-td4063255.html 

by Jack Hawkins: http://borderland-beat-forum.924382.n3.nabble.com/With-Colorado-legalizing-marijuana-drug-cartels-could-end-up-losing-1-425-billion-annually-td4063316.html

Dallas News - Opinion
By Alejandro Hope
January 23, 2014

Since Jan. 1, Colorado has had a legal marijuana market. The same will soon be true in Washington state, once retail licenses are issued. Other states, such as California and Oregon, will probably follow suit over the next three years.

So does this creeping legalization of marijuana in the United States spell doom for the Mexican drug cartels? Not quite. The illegal marijuana trade provides Mexican organized crime with about $1.5 billion to $2 billion a year. That’s not chump change, but according to a number of estimates it represents no more than a third of gross drug export revenue. Cocaine is still the cartels’ biggest moneymaker, and the revenue accruing from heroin and methamphetamine isn’t trivial. Moreover, Mexican gangs also obtain income from extortion, kidnapping, theft and various other types of illegal trafficking. Losing the marijuana trade would be a blow to their finances, but it certainly wouldn’t put them out of business.

But wouldn’t Mexico experience less violence if marijuana were legal? Yes, to some extent, but the decline wouldn’t be sufficient to radically alter the country’s security outlook. In all likelihood, marijuana production and marijuana-related violence are highly correlated geographically. Marijuana output is concentrated in five states (Chihuahua, Durango, Sinaloa, Michoacán and Guerrero) that accounted for approximately a third of all homicides committed in Mexico in 2012. Assuming improbably that half of all murders in those areas were marijuana-related, we can estimate that the full elimination of the illegal marijuana trade would reduce Mexico’s homicide rate to 18 per 100,000 inhabitants from 22 — still about four times the U.S. rate.

Well, but couldn’t the Mexican government gain a peace dividend by redirecting some resources from marijuana prohibition to other law enforcement objectives? Yes, but the effect would probably be modest. Only 4 percent of all Mexican prison inmates are serving time exclusively for marijuana-related crimes. In 2012, drug offenses represented less than 2 percent of all crime reports in the country. When it comes to only federal crimes (7 percent of the total), the share of drug offenses rises to 20 percent, but that percentage has been declining since 2007. So the legalization of marijuana won’t free up a huge trove of resources to be redeployed against predatory crime.

Whatever the legal status of marijuana, Mexico needs to tackle its many institutional malfunctions. Its police forces are underpaid, undertrained, undermotivated and deeply vulnerable to corruption and intimidation. Its criminal justice system is painfully slow, notoriously inefficient and deeply unfair. Even with almost universal impunity, prisons are overflowing and mostly ruled by the inmates themselves.

Changing that reality will take many years. Some reforms are underway, some are barely off the ground. As a result of a 2008 constitutional reform, criminal courts are being transformed, but progress across states has been uneven. With a couple of local exceptions, police reform has yet to find political traction. The federal Attorney General’s Office is set to become an independent body, but not before 2018.

The reformist zeal that President Enrique Peña Nieto has shown in other policy areas (education, energy, telecommunications) is absent in security and justice. Security policy remains reactive, driven more by political considerations than by strategic design. Results have been mixed at best: Homicides declined moderately in 2013, but kidnapping and extortion reached record levels.

Marijuana legalization won’t alter that dynamic. In the final analysis, Mexico doesn’t have a drug problem, much less a marijuana problem: It has a state capacity problem. That is, its institutions are too weak to protect the life, liberty and property of its citizens. Even if drug trafficking might very well decline in the future, in the absence of stronger institutions, something equally nefarious will replace it.

Former intelligence officer Alejandro Hope is a security policy analyst at IMCO, a Mexico City research organization.

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20140123-why-legal-pot-in-u.s.-wont-bring-real-peace-to-mexico.ece
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Re: Why legal pot in U.S. won’t bring real peace to Mexico

Tuko
Of course it will not bring 'real peace' but it will maim the narcos of one of their longest running and significantly lucrative markets.

You cannot make peace in just one swoop.

You must sever all of the tentacles, so there is nothing left to feed the head.
"Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself." -- Lao Tzu
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Re: Why legal pot in U.S. won’t bring real peace to Mexico

Jack Hawkins
Banned User
In reply to this post by Athena
Incremental advances, one step at a time.

The marijuana trade is the backbone of the cartel's cash flow.

The coca is transitory, it merely moves across the land.
For decades it did not even flow through Mexico.

It's routing could change, again.
Or not.

The article I posted to said the effects of legalization in Colorado, alone, would approach $1.5 billion annually. That is  sizable pinch, even if you once were on the Forbes 400.

The reduction in cash flow to the various contrabandistas that service Colorado, would be felt and will have an effect, in Mexico.
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Re: Why legal pot in U.S. won’t bring real peace to Mexico

Chivis
Administrator
In reply to this post by Athena
hola athena good to see you back
 
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please