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Prop. 19 Won’t Immediately Calm Cartel Violence, If At All

Supporters of Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana in California say Mexico's drug war has failed and it's time for a new approach. Even so, they say Proposition 19 is not a quick solution. Critics say it is not a solution at all.

California voters will decide next month whether people should be allowed to have an ounce of marijuana and grow a 25 square foot plot and if cities and counties should be able to tax legal pot sales.

Supporters of Proposition 19 say it's a first step in ending the drug violence in Mexico that's claimed nearly 30,000 lives in the last four years.

Dante Haro is a Professor at the University of Guadalajara. At a meeting at the University of San Diego today, he said it's a farce to think Proposition 19 will go very far toward ending drug violence. "Mexico will take anything that could have a positive effect because the country is in a grave crisis," said Haro.

Mexico's President opposes Proposition 19. A recent Rand Corporation study says cartels could lose two to four percent of their earnings if California legalizes marijuana.

When cartel profits drop, historically, violence spikes, at least in the short term.

Cartels make billions of dollars smuggling drugs other than marijuana, like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. The battle to smuggle those drugs is vicious.

Comments

Avatar for user 'daveed'

daveed | October 14, 2010 at 9:52 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

I was going to vote yes. I had estimated cartel revenues would be hurt by 7% to 8%. But this new study says only 2 - 4%. Darn! My cutoff was 5%. If it doesn't hurt them by at least that much....

Seriously, I must be missing something. If it takes $5.00 out the cartels pockets thats good enough. What's the point of arguing how much it will? And actually, the rand study admits that the revenue drop will be far greater if CA marijuana is exported to the rest of the country. And you know what the chance of that happening is? Oh like, 100%.

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Avatar for user 'mjs123'

mjs123 | October 14, 2010 at 11:31 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

The cartels love the doped up and drugged up Americans as their customers legalized or not. See, medical marijuana is already legalized and it did not put a dent on the drug cartels. In fact, some of your medical marijuana may even be coming from the drug cartels.Who is checking the suppliers? The dispensaries may have a legal supplier to show to the government but the real underground suppliers are the drug cartels. Unless, several big corporations take over the production of marijuana and just saturate them everywhere, the cartels are still in business. If not, they have already moved on to marijuana, like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and even viagra. You know, marijuana causes impotence for the unlucky ones so viagra will be of high demand.

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Avatar for user 'acresboy'

acresboy | October 15, 2010 at 6:23 a.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

I think the point of of prop 19 is to let responsible people over the age of 21 be able to smoke a joint at home and repose. I have witnessed what happens to people who drink to much. I have never seen anyone get angry whille smoking marijuana.

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Avatar for user 'randolphslinky'

randolphslinky | October 15, 2010 at 8:20 a.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

There have been some really smart posts made on here backed up with facts and good reasoning as to why keeping pot illegal has not worked. Some however will run around like Chicken Little saying the sky is falling no matter how well we counter their arguments. Change for these people is really a scary thing, even when what we've been doing for decades has not worked. Look what these same types of people do to Obama. Half the people can't afford healthcare in this country and yet the same naysayers against Prop 19 will make it sound like Lenin is now your new personal physician. If we are to progress as a people, a country that understands the reality of what life is really like, not how we'd imagine it to be in some fantasy world taught from the pulpit, or a Glen Beck fairy tale book, we will handle real threats to our society like adults, with maturity and careful and honest reasoning. I hope that Prop 19 passes; it's time for the dog to stop chasing it's tail and go after the ball instead. I am Randolphslinky, I approve of this message, and I am not a warlock.

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Avatar for user 'mjs123'

mjs123 | October 15, 2010 at 12:41 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

If the cartels have more money, more weapons, vehicles, military and police force than the Mexican government itself, the Mexican government needs to take all that drug money to cripple them and take all the weapons first. Without money, the cartels will be crippled. They need to do Internet, phone, cell phone, communications, wire transfers and banks surveillance.

The Mexican government needs to take the approach of a real war strategist. They need to cut the communications between the cartels, themselves and their customers. Without communications, there is no deal. Find out how they are communicating, then cut them completely. ZERO. Zilch.

Look for their transportations, then cut them completely. You have to get rid of their supports, tools and devices first, then kill them all so they can't shoot back.

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Avatar for user 'mjs123'

mjs123 | October 15, 2010 at 4:52 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

AGAIN. The Mexican government needs to take the war strategists approach. They need to cut the communications between the cartels, themselves and their customers. Without communications, there is no deal. Find out how they are communicating, then cut it completely. ZERO. Zilch.

Look for their transportations, then cut them completely. You have to get rid of their supports, tools and devices first, so they are disabled.

The purpose of the war on cartels is not to necessarily to kill them but to dismantle them. If you cut the communications between Pedro and Juan, they cannot coordinate and execute what they need to do. I mean if Mexico and the USA can't even fight the cartels, how can they fight people smuggling in chemical weapons and biological weapons? They have to have the technology NOW to stop organized crime. You cannot give up on organized criminals because they will stay here forever. AGAIN, you have to have the strategy and TECHNOLOGY to dismantle organized CRIME today. For God's sake, it is the 21st century. This is not the 1930s.

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Avatar for user 'mak'

mak | October 26, 2010 at 10:20 a.m. ― 4 years ago

Reporting in the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/06/AR2009100603847.html) contradicts the gist of this article. While the Rand study cited in the KPBS piece puts cartel California marijuana earnings at "two to four percent," the Post reports that: "While the trafficking of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine is the main focus of U.S. law enforcement, it is marijuana that has long provided most of the revenue for Mexican drug cartels. More than 60 percent of the cartels' revenue -- $8.6 billion out of $13.8 billion in 2006 -- came from U.S. marijuana sales, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy."

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Avatar for user 'Amy Isackson'

Amy Isackson | October 26, 2010 at 10:57 a.m. ― 4 years ago

Hi Mak, The Rand study says its researchers could not find evidence to back the longstanding claim that marijuana accounts for 60% of cartels' revenues. The Rand Study suggests the figure may be based on marijuana consumption estimates three times greater than what they are. The U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy first published the 60% figure in 2006. However, the current ONDCP Director, Gil Kerlikowske, says the figure is incorrect.
Check out Chapter 5 of the Rand Study: http://bit.ly/cggrLE
Amy Isackson

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Avatar for user 'mak'

mak | October 26, 2010 at 1:54 p.m. ― 4 years ago

Hi Amy, Thanks for the clarification. It does appear that the ONDCP is backpedaling, now stating that its previous estimate of 60% "may no longer apply." (http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/news/press10/MJrevenue.pdf) It might be worth noting that page 43 of the Rand study estimates that Mexican cartels could loose "20 percent of their total drug export revenues" if Prop 19 passes and California marijuana undercuts the sale of Mexican marijuana throughout the US: (http://www.rand.org/pubs/occasional_papers/2010/RAND_OP325.pdf).

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Avatar for user 'wondernerd'

wondernerd | October 26, 2010 at 2:09 p.m. ― 4 years ago

Prop 19 would only reduce the cartels' profits by 2% to 4%?! This is a joke, right? How much marijuana was seized last week in Tijuana? 115 tons? And it was worth how much? $500 million? And usually only less than 10% of illegal activity is ever caught? Whoever says that Prop 19 won't seriously cut into the cartels' profits is obviously smoking something strong!

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Avatar for user 'Len'

Len | October 26, 2010 at 4:13 p.m. ― 4 years ago

Prop 19 was not put on the ballot for the purpose of hurting Mexican cartels. Opponents have erected this strawman so they could tear it down and discredit Prop 19. Isaacson fell into the trap, reporting damage to cartels as THE important effect of the Prop. Illogic is reflected in some of the comments: Marijuana cannot be both a small % of the cartels' business, and the cartels will overhwelm the state with it if Prop 19 is passed. Forgotten seems to be that marijuana is not dangerous. That the DEA (whose business is to stay in business, with bigger budgets if possible) puts marijuana in the same category as heroine is akin to putting water in the same category as sulfuric acid. Neither has it been proven to be a "gateway" drug. Heroin users may or may not have used marijuana first, but odds are they also drank beer first, or milk. Marijuana was made a misdemeanor just before the election to inflence voters to think, "Hey, it's only a fine, why bother legalizing it." I think 19 will lose because the electorate is stupid, especially in SD.. (Look who they elected mayor.)

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Avatar for user 'Len'

Len | October 26, 2010 at 4:15 p.m. ― 4 years ago

Correct: That should be "heroin," of course. Heroines are good for one.

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