Rand Report: Legalization of Marijuana in CA Would Hurt Mexican Cartels
There's a new Rand report, Reducing Drug Trafficking Revenues and Violence in Mexico that examines how Prop 19 and marijuana legalization in California might influence drug trafficking organization revenues and the violence in Mexico. The key findings:
- Mexican DTOs' gross revenues from illegally exporting marijuana to wholesalers in the United States is likely less than $2 billion;
- The claim that 60 percent of Mexican DTO gross drug export revenues come from marijuana should not be taken seriously;
- If legalization only affects revenues from supplying marijuana to California, DTO drug export revenue losses would be very small, perhaps 2–4 percent; [More...]
- The only way legalizing marijuana in California would significantly influence DTO revenues and the related violence is if California-produced marijuana is smuggled to other states at prices that outcompete current Mexican supplies. The extent of such smuggling will depend on a number of factors, including the response of the U.S. federal government.
- If marijuana is smuggled from California to other states, it could undercut sales of Mexican marijuana in much of the U.S., cutting DTOs' marijuana export revenues by more than 65 percent and probably by 85 percent or more. In this scenario, the DTOs would lose approximately 20% of their total drug export revenues.
The report also finds the Government's figures of cartel involvement in marijuana in the U.S. greatly exaggerated:
The RAND study also finds that the often-cited claim that marijuana accounts for 60 percent of gross drug export revenues of Mexican drug trafficking organizations is not credible. RAND's exploratory analysis on this point suggests that 15 percent to 26 percent is a more credible range.
...."No publicly available source verifies or explains the mythical 60 percent figure and subsequent government analyses revealed great uncertainty about the estimate," said study co-author Jonathan P. Caulkins, the H. Guyford Stever Professor of Operations Research at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College and Qatar campus. "Our analyses suggest that smuggling marijuana across the Southwest border accounts for 15 to 26 percent of the export revenues generated by Mexican drug trafficking organizations."
Under Prop 19, people over the age of 21 awill be allowed to cultivate marijuana on a 5-foot-by-5-foot plot and possess, process, share or transport up to one ounce of marijuana.
The goal of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center is to provide a firm, empirical foundation upon which sound drug policies can be built.
The war on drugs has failed. It's time to go in a different direction. If you live in California, please help get out the vote. Turnout is key.
|< Instant Classic | Making Excuses: HAMP v. HOLC >|