Hello Marijuana Legalization and Goodbye Crime

A few days ago, in Goodbye Marijuana Prohibition And Hello Jobs, we wrote of how Colorado’s economy and employment picture received boosts from legalized marijuana. This post is essentially the logical flip side of that.

As legal jobs tied in cannabis increase in states like Colorado, we would expect illegal activity surrounding cannabis to decline, and it has. In US marijuana legalization is making life tough for Mexican cartels, Danielle Restuccia writes on how legalization is hurting illegal cannabis in Mexico:

Prices for marijuana in Mexico’s Sinaloa state have dropped precipitously over the last year. While it used to cost $100 for a kilogram, it now costs just $25, forcing many cannabis farmers to focus on other crops.

The Mexico Institute for Competitiveness conducted a study showing that legalization in the U.S. could cut into cartel profits by up to 30 percent.

According to CBS, the Mexican think tank calculated that marijuana legalization in Colorado would eventually lead to a $1.425 billion loss for Mexican cartels, while legalization in Washington would cause a $1.372 billion loss. If Oregon legalizes, IMCO predicts another $1.839 billion loss.

Of course it is.

A few years ago, our law firm was representing a medical marijuana dispensary against a city that was attempting to shut it down. A city police officer took the stand to explain why the city was so afraid of this dispensary. Among the reasons was concern about Mexican drug cartels. On cross-examination, we asked this police officer whether he was aware of any Mexican drug cartel links to legal marijuana in his city or anywhere else in the United States. He answered truthfully with a no. We then asked if he was aware of Mexican drug cartel links to illegal drugs in the United States and he, of course, answered with a yes. Needless to say, in our closing argument we talked of how having legal marijuana in this city would, if anything, serve to drive out or at least reduce gang influence.

You watch. As legalization of marijuana continues apace, crime will decrease. Yet another plus for legalization.