One of the benefits of marijuana legalization that is rarely talked about is how it can actually hurt the profits generated by drug cartels since people will be less reliant on their illegal products. And now we may finally have evidence that proves that argument.
According to data from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the United States is seizing a lot less marijuana being smuggled across the border. In 2012 when only 32 percent of Americans had access to legal marijuana (that's medical or recreational), the U.S. government seized over 1,400 tons of cannabis being smuggled across the border. But last year, when 63 percent of Americans have access to legal marijuana, the U.S. government seized only 600 tons of cannabis, less than half what they found in 2012.
There's two conclusions to make form this data. Either drug cartels are getting so much better at smuggling drugs that they're able to hide twice as much marijuana as they could in the past. Or, the more likely conclusion: Cartels are smuggling less cannabis into America because they know the market isn't going to be as beneficial to them since people now have legal means to obtain the drug.
We also have proof that cartels are not smuggling less drugs in than in the past. They're simply changing their priorities. The amount of meth smuggled in has nearly tripled since 2012, and we're also seeing fentanyl being smuggled across the border as well. 2018 will be the first year since data is available where marijuana will not be the most valuable drug smuggled by cartels. Both meth and cocaine will be more valuable than marijuana for smuggling.
So marijuana legalization has caused drug cartels to make a lot less money. Let's see Jeff Sessions try to turn that into a bad thing.