Friday, October 09, 2009

Pot Cartels Busted

Novel headline eh? About what you would expect if you believed in law enforcement. Well as usual I mean what I say but in a different sense. Pot cartels are going broke.

ARCATA, Calif. -- Stiff competition from thousands of mom-and-pop marijuana farmers in the United States threatens the bottom line for powerful Mexican drug organizations in a way that decades of arrests and seizures have not, according to law enforcement officials and pot growers in the United States and Mexico.
Oh yeah. Quasi legalization is destroying the market for imported marijuana.

So what is an economically savvy cartel to do? Improve the product and shorten the supply chain.
Now, to stay competitive, Mexican traffickers are changing their business model to improve their product and streamline delivery. Well-organized Mexican cartels have also moved to increasingly cultivate marijuana on public lands in the United States, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center and local authorities. This strategy gives the Mexicans direct access to U.S. markets, avoids the risk of seizure at the border and reduces transportation costs.
But, at least in California it is just a stop gap measure. Californians will get a chance next year to legalize pot.
SAN FRANCISCO - Marijuana advocates are gathering signatures to get as many as three pot-legalization measures on the ballot in 2010 in California, setting up what could be a groundbreaking clash with the federal government over U.S. drug policy.

At least one poll shows voters would support lifting the pot prohibition, which would make the state of more than 38 million the first in the nation to legalize marijuana.

Such action would also send the state into a headlong conflict with the U.S. government while raising questions about how federal law enforcement could enforce its drug laws in the face of a massive government-sanctioned pot industry.

The state already has a thriving marijuana trade, thanks to a first-of-its-kind 1996 ballot measure that allowed people to smoke pot for medical purposes. But full legalization could turn medical marijuana dispensaries into all-purpose pot stores, and the open sale of joints could become commonplace on mom-and-pop liquor store counters in liberal locales like Oakland and Santa Cruz.
And you know what else? If none of the initiatives pass the proponents promise to do it again until they get the answer(s) they want.

Well what about the politicians? Cowards the lot of them.
Even some prominent politicians, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, have recently shown some movement on the issue, saying publicly that the time has arrived to at least study the legalization of pot.

But the skittishness of politicians on this subject is still palpable. When the Legislature last month was discussing sentencing reform, Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, spoke of just how fearful lawmakers are of voting for anything someone might label as “soft on crime.”

Leno noted that in California it is a misdemeanor for an adult to possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and that the penalty for that crime cannot exceed a fine of $100.

As Leno told fellow senators, that is the very definition of an infraction. Every year, he said, judges ask the Legislature to change possession of a small amount of marijuana to an infraction because it is folly for them to conduct misdemeanor trials on a charge for which the maximum penalty is a $100 fine.

To date, lawmakers haven’t been moved by such logic. Perhaps in June, voters will get the chance to leap well beyond that small step.
If this passes I wonder if California will become the pot supplier to the nation - at least temporarily reversing its economic situation from dire straights to just abysmal.

Well I just couldn't resist. So here is the video:

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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