Hint, it isn’t the war on drugs.
The worst thing ever to happen to liquor gangs was the repeal of the 18th amendment. Their operations were only made possible by the wicked sorority that was the temperance movement.
Bootleggers and Baptists have an ironically symbiotic relationship. What is good for one is good for the other. When busy bodied puritans successfully whip up enough hysteria over something they don’t like to ban it, they create an environment that only the violent and the criminal can survive in, a black market.
When peaceful shopkeepers are prohibited from selling something in a safe, public way, consumers are forced to give their money to people who are willing to break the law. In the case of alcohol prohibition, these people were Al Capone and company. During prohibition, liquor gangs would terrorize the streets, flushed with weapons, cars, and more cash than they knew what to do with. Just like drug cartels do today.
There is no threat from liquor gangs in modern society because they all died with the 18th amendment. Thankfully, the same thing is happening to modern drug cartels, as states such as Colorado, Washington, and twenty other others allow medical marijuana to be grown legally.
The Washington Post reports that pot farmers in Sinaloa, once one of the pot growing capitals of the world have stopped growing weed altogether. The legalization and decriminalization of marijuana in the United States, has decimated the wholesale price from $100 per kilogram to $25 in the last five years.
“It’s not worth it anymore,” said Rodrigo Silla, 50, a lifelong cannabis farmer who said he couldn’t remember the last time his family and others in their tiny hamlet gave up growing mota. “I wish Americans would stop with this legalization.” Reports Nick Miroff.
Legalization has ravaged the black market for marijuana so dramatically, that in order to keep their profits up and businesses afloat, farmers and cartels have switched to growing and selling heroin. In fact, the switch is so dramatic that, according to the DEA, Mexico has surpassed Columbia as the biggest supplier of heroin in the United States.
“There’s no other way to make a living here” says Silla, whose sons will be the first in several generations of his family to not grow marijuana.
In a 2012 study by the Mexican Competitiveness Institute, the group showed that US legalization would cut over 30% of their market. This is astonishing, considering that the DEA has failed to accomplished even a fraction of this in decades of the war on drugs.
Just like how criminals are entirely dependent on illegal substances for their existence, groups like the DEA are entirely dependent on illegal activity. Retired federal agent Terry Nelson notes it isn’t surprising the DEA has been so ineffective at curbing the drug trade.
“The DEA doesn’t want the drug war to end…if it ends, they don’t get their toys and their budgets…I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but where there’s smoke there’s probably fire.”
Instead of looking towards inept government bureaucracies with a vested interest in criminal activity to put an end to surreally violent drug lords, Americans should look to Colorado and Washington. To some, legalized drugs may not be a particularly savory thought, but then again, neither are routine chainsaw decapitations along the border. It may not be a fun choice, but it is an obvious one. In the end, all it takes to kill the cartels once and for all is for Americans to ‘Just Say Yes’ to drugs.
Follow Patrick Kane on Twitter @PatVKane or on Facebook.