Thursday, October 8, 2009

Good Piece

The Washington Post had an interesting article about homegrown American pot growers eating into the profits of the Mexican gangs. These paragraphs jumped out at me:
Well-organized Mexican cartels have also moved to increasingly cultivate marijuana on public lands in the United States, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center and local authorities. This strategy gives the Mexicans direct access to U.S. markets, avoids the risk of seizure at the border and reduces transportation costs.


The Mexican traffickers' illegal use of public lands is a response to the dramatic increase in U.S. production, according to authorities and growers. In the northern woods of California, illegal immigrants hired by well-heeled Mexican "patrons," or bosses, lay miles of plastic pipe and install oscillating sprinkler systems for clandestine fields that produce a cheaper, faster-growing "commercial grade" of marijuana. Eric Sligh, the editor and publisher of Grow magazine in Northern California's Mendocino County, said the Mexicans use a fast-growing variety of marijuana and time their harvests to periods of low domestic production in the United States.
The presence of Mexican drug traffickers growing marijuana in US national parks became news a couple of weeks ago due to this controversy. The idea that Chapo and his minions would be controlling production in remote portions of the US from a hilltop in the Mexican Sierra Madre is counterintuitive, and such a situation is probably unsustainable. It would be like sending a bunch of wiseguys from Brooklyn to take over loan-sharking and extortion in London. The US doesn't lack for criminals, and by virtue of proximity it seems likely that foreign control of domestic drug production will give way to American control.

Also, just as an example of the outsized influence the Post and the Times have in Mexico, there was an article about the article in today's Excélsior.


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