Homegrown Pot Threatens Mexican Cartels

Steve Fainaru and William Booth report for The Washington Post:

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.

Illicit pot production in the United States has been increasing steadily for decades. But recent changes in state laws that allow the use and cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes are giving U.S. growers a competitive advantage, challenging the traditional dominance of the Mexican traffickers, who once made brands such as Acapulco Gold the standard for quality.

Almost all of the marijuana consumed in the multibillion-dollar U.S. market once came from Mexico or Colombia. Now as much as half is produced domestically, often by small-scale operators who painstakingly tend greenhouses and indoor gardens to produce the more potent, and expensive, product that consumers now demand, according to authorities and marijuana dealers on both sides of the border.

The shifting economics of the marijuana trade have broad implications for Mexico’s war against the drug cartels, suggesting that market forces, as much as law enforcement, can extract a heavy price from criminal organizations that have used the spectacular profits generated by pot sales to fuel the violence and corruption that plague the Mexican state.


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3 Comments on "Homegrown Pot Threatens Mexican Cartels"

  1. Jess Conley | Oct 10, 2009 at 6:09 pm |

    I'm all for U.S economic self-sustenance!

  2. screw the cartels. Lets all grow our own weed, we are just making them rich.

  3. screw the cartels. Lets all grow our own weed, we are just making them rich.

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