Congressional Researchers Say Marijuana Legalization Movement Is Undermining Mexican Cartel Profits

Congressional Researchers Say Marijuana Legalization Movement Is Undermining Mexican Cartel Profits
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As more U.S. states move to legalize marijuana in some form—and neighboring Canada’s cannabis market matures—demand for illicit marijuana from Mexico continues to drop, a newly updated report from Congress’s research arm says. The language from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) report is largely consistent with an earlier version it released in 2020, but it further underscores how the international drug trade is shifting as the legalization movement expands. “U.S. seizures of imported marijuana began to decline in 2019,” the CRS analysis says, citing the State Department’s 2022 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report. “Authorities are projecting a continued decline in U.S. demand for Mexican marijuana because drugs ‘other than marijuana’ will likely dominate the cross border traffic.” Part of the reason, as CRS previously explained in the 2020 report that has since been updated, is “due to legalized medical and nonmedical/recreational cannabis in many U.S. states and Canada, reducing its value as part of Mexican trafficking organizations’ portfolio.” It further notes that Mexico’s Congress is taking steps to legalize marijuana as well. The CRS report raises questions about why violence in the Mexican drug trade has persisted as cartels have increasingly moved away from plant-based drugs like cannabis and opium, to synthetic substances. The implications of this trade shift “remain unclear,” it says. “Changes in the illegal drug markets in the United States and Canada from marijuana legalization; increased demand for opioids, especially synthetic opioids; and changing patterns of use of methamphetamine and other drugs have contributed to the [drug trafficking organizations’] continuing evolution. The cartels’ broad reach and control of large territories inside Mexico, as well as their production of illicit drugs, has been termed ‘alarming’ by the U.S. State Department.” As part of its Fiscal Year 2023 performance budget summary submitted to Congress earlier this year, the Drug…

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Source : Congressional Researchers Say Marijuana Legalization Movement Is Undermining Mexican Cartel Profits

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