Legalization of marijuana in the United States is destined to create a highly lucrative environment for organized crime, according to a new report published by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The agency’s 2013 National Drug Threat Assessment, which was released earlier today, tells the tale of an even more savage and cutthroat presence by the drug cartels and crime syndicates as legalization efforts in states across America continue to relish in their respective success.
The report states that medicinal marijuana is already responsible for producing new opportunities inside the illegal drug trade; one they predict will continue to thrive on the wrong side of the law, even as cannabis acceptance and reformed drugs laws become more widespread across the country.
“TCOs [transnational criminal organizations] and criminal groups will increasingly exploit the opportunities for marijuana cultivation and trafficking created in states that allow “medical marijuana” grows and have legalized marijuana sales and possession.”
However, the latest report is clearly a conflict of both American history and common sense: Because while organized crime certainly reaped the financial benefits of a black market trade brought on by more than a decade of alcohol prohibition, once the law was repealed in 1933, booze hooligans found it impossible to compete with the legitimate market.
Instead, the alcohol industry was revitalized, and has since become a $100 billion industry.
As far as the illegal alcohol trade -- moonshiners still exist and continue to sling booze throughout the foothills of Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and the Carolina’s, but even with a single cooper still having the capacity to generate more than $50,000 of revenue per batch, the rewards are far less than those capitalizing from legit commerce.
Therefore, the concept that by eliminating marijuana prohibition, the United States runs the emanate risk of an onslaught of criminal persuasion is absolute lunacy.
Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority agrees wholeheartedly:
“The DEA’s claim that marijuana legalization somehow creates moneymaking opportunities for the cartels and gangs that largely control today’s black market for the drug is simply absurd,” he said. “As prohibition comes to an end and as the market is brought aboveground, more and more consumers will make the obvious choice to purchase their marijuana from safe and legal businesses rather than from violent crime networks that don’t test and label their products for potency. I suppose the DEA would have us believe that ending alcohol prohibition somehow created ‘opportunities’ for gangsters to make even more money selling legal booze than when it was illegal and they were the only source.”
Still, some pot proponents say they fear that over-taxation of recreational marijuana will be enough to keep the black market alive. Because where alcohol was cheaper for the consumer to purchase from legitimate sources following prohibition, legal marijuana will undoubtedly be more expensive than what organized crime continues to offer on the streets.
That sounds like a stretch to us. Fear mongering from the DEA perhaps?
Mike Adams writes for Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket, Townsquare Media and Hustler magazine. Find him on Facebook: facebook.com/mikeadams73 or follow him on Twitter @adamssoup