It seems like Arizona is worried about the brewing border war between the US and the Mexican drug cartels.
PHOENIX -- Attorney General Terry Goddard said he might be willing to consider legalizing marijuana if a way can be found to control its distribution -- and figure out who has been smoking it.Imagine that. Solar powered drug gangs. Talk about going green.
Goddard said marijuana sales make up 75 percent of the money that Mexican cartels use for the other operations, including smuggling other drugs and fighting the Army and police in that country. He said that makes fighting drug distribution here important to cut off that cash.
He acknowledged those profits could be slashed if possession of marijuana were not a crime in Arizona. But Goddard said a number of other hurdles remain before that even becomes a possibility.
Goddard's comments came following a news conference announcing the breakup of a major ring that police said has been responsible for bringing about 400,000 pounds of marijuana across the border and into Arizona each year since 2003.
The operation has so far led to the indictment of 59 people and the arrest so far of 39 of them, some in this country legally and others who were not.
Phoenix Police Lt. Vince Piano said the operation was very sophisticated, complete with specially designed heavy-duty trucks to actually let vehicles drive over the border fence.
They also had solar-powered radio towers and a network of lookouts who told the trucks, each carrying up to 2,500 pounds of marijuana, when to move and when to hide under camouflage. He said there even was a system of "food drops' to supply the drivers.
Piano said this operation was one of several under contract to Mexican drug lords to transport the marijuana from the border through the Tohono O'odham Reservation all the way to Phoenix.
Piano said busting this organization doesn't stop the flow of drugs, saying this is one of several "transportation groups' working with the cartel. But he said it does disrupt at least part of the flow.
And what does he mean by disrupting part of the flow? Simple. More profits for those who remain in the business.
At least he understands the basic point. The only way to defeat the cartels is to under price them which shouldn't be hard. Hydroponic marijuana should cost no more than 10X the cost of hydroponic tomatoes. With hydroponic tomatoes running about $2 to $3 a pound retail that would make hydroponic marijuana cost about $1 to $2 an ounce. Maybe as little as 10¢ to 20¢ an ounce. When you compare that with prices for the illegal stuff running at up to $500 an ounce is it any wonder that even a small town like mine (pop 150,000) has two hydroponic stores?
Cross Posted at Classical Values