As more and more states legalize marijuana, others are considering proposals to change their laws to allow recreational cannabis as well. And it turns out there are even some countries looking at the success of American stats and wanting to get in on the action.
The Los Angeles Times reported on how America's legalization efforts have affected Mexico. For many years, the country's drug cartels raked in money smuggling cannabis across the border. But with every state that legalize marijuana, the cartel loses more business. And they've largely decided to move away from cannabis and into other drugs to turn a profit. But the country still wants to make money off marijuana, which is why some have advocated that Mexico legalize the drug.
Mexico generates between $6 billion and $8 billion per year from the drug trade, with estimates saying marijuana is responsible for 15 to 26 percent of that money. But as legalization hurts marijuana sales, that means the country is getting less money from the drug. Legalizing cannabis would allow the country to continue profiting from the drug, and in a legal manner.
Another argument for marijuana legalization is a reduction of violence. Earlier this month, the country's tourism secretary Enrique de la Madrid said legalizing cannabis would reduce the country's murders. Over 29,000 homicides were committed in Mexico in 2017, many of which are connected to the country's cartels. (To put that in perspective, the US had 17,000 homicides in 2016 with a population more than twice as large as Mexico's.) Madrid said legalizing marijuana would take more power away from the cartels and would give them less incentive to kill each other over cannabis dealing.
However, experts say that marijuana-related homicides account for a very small percent of Mexico's murders. And the country's marijuana trade isn't nearly as profitable as other industries.
But still, it would be quite a statement if Mexico does decide to legalizing marijuana in the coming years.
(h/t LA Times)