Why patriotic, law-and-order types should consider marijuana legalization

My headline is a bit over-broad, but instead of saying xenophobic, anti-immigrant right wingers, I'll be both polite and accurate:

People who strongly oppose weak border security/illegal immigration (who also often oppose drug legalization for different reasons) at least in part due to the drug cartels and the violence they cause, more than they oppose some citizens getting high, should reconsider their position on the latter.

But why give those dirty hippies more weed, when we can solve both problems, if only the government would do its job! Well, the government is doing its job about as good as it is going to do. And it sucks at it. This is why we libertarians, conservatives, and a few liberals oppose big government and its endless programs.

Legalization, (even if highly regulated) is doing a better job at harming the cartels than prohibition could ever do:
Facing stiff competition from pot grown legally and illegally north of the border, the price for a kilogram of Mexican schwag has plummeted by 75 percent, from $100 to $25, the Post reports:
Farmers in the storied "Golden Triangle" region of Mexico's Sinaloa state, which has produced the country's most notorious gangsters and biggest marijuana harvests, say they are no longer planting the crop…increasingly, they're unable to compete with US marijuana growers.
As demand for pot is satisfied better elsewhere, what happens? The cartels turn to other banned-in-America substances.
Mexican heroin is flooding north as U.S. authorities trying to contain an epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse have tightened controls on synthetic opiates such as hydrocodone and OxyContin. As the pills become more costly and difficult to obtain, Mexican trafficking organizations have found new markets for heroin in places such as Winchester, Va., and Brattleboro, Vt., where, until recently, needle use for narcotics was rare or unknown.
I'm not going to win over many people saying we should legalize heroin, too. The cartels are following the path of least resistance, economically speaking. The demand is always going to be there. We can have cartels supply that demand, or we can have somewhat more responsible American citizens and businesses supply it.

That doesn't mean legalize everything, it just means that fighting this with blood and guns has accomplished very little over the decades, while marijuana legalization changed the cartel's behavior practically overnight.

If this were a science experiment, you would note well the variable that had an effect. And if you were a scientist with half a brain, you might follow that course.


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