Do The Cartels Need Cannabis?

Keegan Hamilton is skeptical that marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington will seriously weaken Mexican cartels:

Not only have the cartels diversified their portfolios (to borrow language applied to other multinational, multibillion dollar operations); the Mexican Kush_closesuppliers have already been edged out of the local markets in the two new green states. …

The only way cartels will be seriously affected by the new pot laws, according to the Mexican Center for Competitiveness, is if Washington and Colorado's legal weed spreads to parts of the country more reliant on Mexican grass. These states include the more conservative ones that are unlikely to legalize marijuana anytime soon.

Ah – that lovely alliance between Puritanism and crime. It's eternal, innit? Kleiman adds his two cents.

(Photo: a bud of Kush from Wiki)