Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website   Read more about this blog.
Posted: November 19th, 2012
Legalizing pot will reduce drug cartel profits

No kidding. But how much of their business is made up of selling marijuana? But the estimates that come out of Washington think tanks also predict that it will mean a change in their current business models, and most likely, not be a good one. The changes don’t necessarily mean a decline in violence, especially if the marijuana business is replaced by stepped up robbery, kidnapping, and extortion. Or the pedaling of harder, more addictive drugs. Illegal drug dealing is not a victimless crime.

Other predictions claim that the legalization will mean a drastic decrease in cost, and according to CNN, “consumption would also likely increase – the report estimates that for every 10 percent decrease in price, the number of consumers would rise by 3 percent.” So we have that to look forward to.

Speaking of illegal drugs in a broader sense, 22 million Americans use illegal drugs regularly, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. And that demand translates into between $18 and $39 billion annually to Mexican drug cartels. For pot, it’s $60 an ounce. A pound sells for about $425.

While pulling the teeth out of the mouths of drug cartelsis high on the priority list in the so-called war on drugs, the question remains whether or not legalizing it here in America will be the most effective way to do it.

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10 comments on “Legalizing pot will reduce drug cartel profits

  1. andrew ruch on said:

    I don’t know where you get some of your info, but an ounce cost about runs an average of 145 to 170 for mid grade. thats is what the average user pays for mid grade. i have seen it go as high as 100 a quarter.

  2. Bradley on said:

    Andrew is correct, the good stuff costs 6o an eighth.

  3. Robert Moore on said:

    The legalization of marijuana will have positive steps for our economy. It will help raise precious revenues for the states and will eliminate nearly 50% of those sitting in our over crowded prisons. There is a good chance that legalization may lead to increased consumption as many who already use crack, cocaine, prescription pain killers, heroin and many pills would switch to pot because it’s cheaper than most illicit drugs in our community and would be safer.

    Marijuana sells for over $200.00 an ounce with quarter ounces selling for $50.00 and up. Pot isn’t harmless but it’s less harmful than cigarettes, alcohol and painkillers combined. Instead of kids using bath salts or heroin wouldn’t it make sense to legalize pot?

    Regardless of your opinion the majority Americans want pot to be legalized and it will be soon. It will a step in the right direction as too many people that simply possessed a joint end up in jail. Old ideas die hard but legalization is on it’s way, thank God.

  4. Jillian Galloway on said:

    Alcohol is significantly more harmful and more addictive than marijuana. We need to tell our legislators to let people switch from the more harmful drug, alcohol, to the less harmful drug, marijuana, by legalizing marijuana like beer and wine.

  5. What you are saying regarging an increase in ‘robbery, kidnapping, and extortion’ if marijuana is made legal sounds reasonal but – is based on what? Look back to the 1920′s and proibition. Did mob violence increase when when booze was legalized?? I do not think so. History is always a good thing to look back on to determine reactions to future regulations.

  6. Jasmine on said:

    Apparently some people here have been smoking the wacky tobacco a little too long. Alcohol is more harmful and addictive than marijuana?? Alcohol has its own dangers but marijuana is far from innocent–memory loss, stomach issues, and have you not heard the cough when its being smoked??? The long term damage from smoking this crap had been well documented. also been well documented that marijuana is the gateway drug–thinking that because its legal less people will do the “harder” drugs is absurd. If you need alcohol or drugs because your life sucks that bad, how about getting some help. God help this country if we need to legalize pot to raise “precious” revenues.

    “Pot isn’t harmless but it’s less harmful than cigarettes, alcohol and painkillers combined. Instead of kids using bath salts or heroin wouldn’t it make sense to legalize pot?” are you kidding me?? this is the most idiotic statement I think I’ve ever heard!!! De Nile isn’t just a river in Egypt. What a bunch of dummies!

  7. I’m with Jasmine. Potheads have used these same arguments for decades. And they are making up their own statistics, such as “the majority of Americans want pot to be legalized”. That’s just what I want, a bunch of potheads running our stores and factories. Americans are lazy enough as it is. Smoke yourself stupid, you’re nearly there.

  8. andrew ruch on said:

    now wait a min. if pot is as bad as YOU say it is then our government must be charged with killing its own people. the government allows people to get pot with a prescription. you ever hear of the government allowing dr.s to prescribe beer? whiskey? how about cigarettes? you do NOT get addicted to pot, you do NOT go from pot to a harder drug as you say, its NOT a gateway drug. that is just an opinion of someone who is totally against legalizing something they know nothing about. i do agree that pot does make you lazy, and your right, Americans are to lazy. you don’t hear people going out robbing stores so they can buy pot. its not one of those drugs that you just constantly have to have. people who smoke pot have fun, they get so high they don’t want to do anything so stealing or killing is just to much trouble. the worst thing that might happen is you’ll have to go buy some more snacks….

  9. The government already allows prescription drugs to be prescribed and they are probably just as bad as pot with side effects, so I would believe it. YOU DO get addicted and it IS a gateway drug. I know more than I really want about this subject because I am close to someone that does it. How the hell would anyone know if people are robbing stores so they can buy it? another idiotic statement-it never fails to amaze me the amount of excuses dopers use. It helps me sleep, it helps me relax, it helps me deal with life. It is obvious it has killed your brain cells because you can’t spell or write an intelligent sentence. Like Nikki said-smoke yourself stupid, you’re nearly there. seemingly closer than you think.

  10. The following statistics on acoholics might surprise you. Some of them surprised us.
    It is an alcoholism fact that:
    •Alcohol is the number one drug problem in America.
    •There are more than 12 million alcoholics in the U.S.
    •Three-fourths of all adults drink alcohol, and 6% of them are alcoholics.
    •Americans spend $197 million each day on alcohol.
    •In the United States, a person is killed in an alcohol-related car accident every 30 minutes.
    •A 2000 study found nearly 7 million persons age 12 to 20 were binge drinkers.
    •Three-fourths of all high school seniors report being drunk at least once.
    •Adolescents who begin drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to become alcoholics than their counterparts who do not begin drinking until the age of 21.
    •People with a higher education are more likely to drink.
    •Higher income people are more likely to drink.

    Fact: Most people who smoke marijuana smoke it only occasionally.
    A small minority of Americans – less than 1 percent – smoke marijuana on a daily basis. An even smaller minority develop a dependence on marijuana. Some people who smoke marijuana heavily and frequently stop without difficulty.
    Others seek help from drug treatment professionals. marijuana does not cause physical dependence. If people experience withdrawal symptoms at all, they are remarkably mild.

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