On marijuana and the Mexican drug war...

After legalization of recreational marijuana use in two US states, Mexico may rein in interdiction efforts.

More coming across the border.. or less?

Earlier today, I wrote a piece expressing skepticism that legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado could deal a major blow to that country's violent drug gangs.

But one point that I failed to consider is the impact of two approved US ballot measures on Mexican policy. It turns out that incoming Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto may adjust his country's approach to tackling marijuana production in his country in response.

The AP reports that the head of President Pena Nieto's transition team Luis Videgaray told Radio Formula that:

... the Mexican administration taking power in three weeks remains opposed to drug legalization. But he said the votes in the two states complicate his country's commitment to quashing the growing and smuggling of a plant now seen by many as legal in part of the U.S.

"Obviously we can't handle a product that is illegal in Mexico, trying to stop its transfer to the United States, when in the United States, at least in part of the United States, it now has a different status," Videgaray said. "I believe this obliges us to think the relationship in regards to security ... This is an unforeseen element."

Videgaray stopped short of threatening to curtail Mexican enforcement of marijuana laws, but his comments, less than three weeks before Pena Nieto travels to the White House days before taking office, appeared likely to increase pressure on the Obama administration to strictly enforce U.S. federal law, which still forbids recreational pot use.

The AP also quotes Alejandro Hope, a former senior Mexican intelligence official who helped author a paper arguing that Mexican drug gangs would be damaged by the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington (summarized here) as saying that if the US federal government cracks down on the marijuana trade anyways, the impact in Mexico will be negligible. What will the Obama administration do? We'll see.

And if the Mexican government becomes less interested in enforcing anti-marijuana laws, will that make much difference? On the one hand, probably not. The big drug traffickers move cocaine as well, and remain a violent threat to government authority in multiple Mexican states. But if it does, the marijuana business could become a less dangerous, and therefore less expensive, business for Mexican traffickers to engage in. It's not inconceivable that could lead to much cheaper Mexican marijuana entering the US than currently.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to On marijuana and the Mexican drug war...
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today