2017 was Mexico’s deadliest year. Will Jeff Sessions’ marijuana policy make the violence worse?
“They are, right now, mapping out a plan to fill this hole,” said Arthur Rizer, a former Justice Department narcotics prosecutor. “There are meetings going on. They are watching the same TV panels we’re watching and taking notes on what other Republicans are saying.”
Rizer and Blevins are concerned that number will creep back upwards, and could be worse than before.
Rizer, who’s now with a libertarian think tank called the R Street Institute, said the cartels will profit from the fact that many people in Washington state, Colorado and elsewhere first started using marijuana when it became legal in their states.
“They’re not going to stop now because Sessions says it’s bad,” Rizer said. “You have a lot of people like that in the U.S., so not only would cartels be able to tap back into their former market, but they’d absolutely have a bigger market.”
“It’s no different than what Coca-Cola would be doing if an ingredient in Pepsi was banned,” Rizer continued. “These are efficient business people. They’re going to look at how they can capitalize on this.”
Both Rizer and Blevins said marijuana comprised at least 50 percent of cartels’ total revenue as recently as 2013, citing intelligence received from Mexican law enforcement.