DEA Says Illegal Marijuana Trafficking From Mexico Is Declining Amid State Legalization Movement

DEA Says Illegal Marijuana Trafficking From Mexico Is Declining Amid State Legalization Movement
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The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said in a new report that as more marijuana is being produced domestically in the U.S., it’s undermining illicit cannabis trafficking from Mexico. As part of its Fiscal Year 2023 performance budget summary submitted to Congress, the agency talked about shifting trends in marijuana production, as well as its own efforts to support cannabis research, including by breaking the decades-long federal monopoly on authorized cultivation. DEA didn’t exactly come out and say that more Americans are buying marijuana from state-regulated businesses as the legalization movement has continued to expand, but it did say that “Mexican marijuana has largely been supplanted by domestic-produced marijuana,” even if that country “remains the most significant foreign source for marijuana.” “Marijuana remains illegal under Federal law and is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States,” the agency said. “The national landscape continues to evolve as states enact voter referenda and legislation regarding the possession, use, and cultivation of marijuana and its associated products.” DEA didn’t explicitly connect the dots between the legalization movement—which has provided adults 21 and older, as well as patients, with a regulated supply of cannabis in numerous states across the country—and the decline of Mexican-produced marijuana entering the U.S. But previous analyses have concluded that there’s a clear connection. For example, a study released by the Cato Institute in 2018 found that “state-level marijuana legalization has significantly undercut marijuana smuggling.” DEA’s new budget document also talks about increased domestic production of cannabis from a different kind of source: cultivation facilities that the agency itself is authorizing to manufacture marijuana for study purposes. For decades, DEA has only authorized a facility at the University of Mississippi to grow cannabis for federal research. But as it noted in the new report, the “number of authorized…

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Source : DEA Says Illegal Marijuana Trafficking From Mexico Is Declining Amid State Legalization Movement

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