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> The move potentially puts Mexico at the forefront of an international movement to decriminalize drugs – despite a decade-long militarized crackdown on drug cartels which has cost the lives of around 100,000 people.

This is a sane and direct response to exactly that.




Drug cartels don't make there money selling to people in Mexico, the real money is in the US market.


> Drug cartels don't make there money selling to people in Mexico, the real money is in the US market.

This decision is not sufficient, but if mexico completely legalised drugs, including manufacture, sale and distribution, the cartel violence in mexico would mostly stop, because they'd be legitimate businessmen who could rely on police protection.

The US wouldn't like it, but hey, that's their problem (in theory - in practice they'd make sure this never happened by meddling in foreign affairs as they always do).


I'm a US citizen, and I'm ashamed of what my government does in my name. I was born here: no choice in that matter. My taxes are used to fund horrid and despicable things in our collective name, including messing in others sovereign affairs, going to war, causing war between 2 different parties, and all the things wrong with "War on ____" (just add in the word representing the next 15 minute hot button issue).

I, as a citizen, do vote against politicians who either publicly have those views or have voted on those lines.. But what else can I do, other than emigrate? And that takes money, an advanced degree, and lots of luck to be accepted.


If you are ashamed of America you should emigrate, continuing to be a hypocrite while profiting from the system is untenable if you are actually believe what you say. There are plenty of countries where it is a lot easier to become a citizen than the US.


And still be affected by their policies? Doesn't sound like a good plan.


The cartels can probably rely on police, military, media, and other institutional support more than any other set of businesses in Mexico now. Legalization would undercut cartel violence in Mexico because it would open up more competition and drop prices in the US market, so that the flow of money that supports their empire of corruption and violence would be shut off.


The cartels would not just become upstanding taxpayers and the US is legalizing weed. Anti-American comments will always get you up votes but your scenario is very unlikely.


The cartels are a business. The main reason they use violence is that they can't rely on police protection, so they have to provide their own.

I am quite sure that the cost of providing their own security is considerably more than any taxes on legitimate businesses in mexico. So it makes sense for them from a business perspective. Obviously it won't happen overnight. Some of them will adapt and work within the system, others will find that their old ways are not competitive with the legitimate businesses, who have lower overheads.

Obviously there will still be crime, and the cartels that don't adapt will find other criminal enterprises to pursue. But it's hard to see another market that will provide them with comparable income.

It was not my intent for the comment to come off as "anti-american". Just saying that mexico making this change would move the problem to the US, which would then be forced to act, hopefully by following through with a full-on legalisation of their own (not just for marijuana).


It is complete fantasy to say that the cartels are just businessmen, they would rather murder someone than pay them.


What do you think business is? When it's overall cheaper to murder someone than pay them, it's good business to murder them.


Some businesses will kill people to save money, look at Volkswagen.


Not to worry, we're working on decriminalizing it in the States as well. Just think how little violence there'd be if we just manufactured the drugs (legally) here.


should be noted that

decriminalization != legalization


an important distinction, too. I really do think that decriminalization is a logical path to legalization, but it offers many less benefits to society by direct comparison.

all the criminal infrastructure and the ills that go with it don't go away after decriminalization alone, but it does at least offer some protection to the end user.

ideally, it needs to eventually be properly legalized and regulated so it can be produced, transported and sold legally while (also ideally) being taxed along the way.


And it should also be noted that what the US is moving toward is legalization (eliminating some or all prohibitions on drugs and making them not contraband, though there may be restrictions as with other legal medical drugs or recreational substances), not decriminalization (eliminating criminal penalties for small-quantity possession while maintaining the general prohibition such that the drug is still contraband.) While decriminalization has happened somewhere, state-level legalization of either medical use (making it, from a state perspective, analogous to other legal medical drugs, except with an ad hoc regulatory regime because it is still federally prohibited which prevents it from working with existing protocols for medical drugs) or more generally (making it more like, e.g., alcohol, with the same caveat) and there are currently-active proposals at the federal level for both medical and general legalization.


How much money is in marijuana compared to harder drugs? I mean, does this put much of a dent in the organized crime economy?


http://www.newrepublic.com/article/politics/magazine/104914/...

says "In 2010, Mexican officials estimated that cannabis now provides the cartels with as much as half of their revenue."


I have also seen this 50% figure from various sources but I find it hard to believe, although I have no specific knowledge that would refute it. As far as I know, it's mostly low-grade weed that comes over the border, and while some grow operations within the US are cartel-run, I still am so surprised it would equal their profits from cocaine and methamphetamine combined.


I think another aspect is, that the mexican cartels can grow the marijuana themselves and gain full profit off it, while cocaine or coca plants/paste have to be imported from south america.


it is also vastly more popular


They are most likely diversifying (or have done so by now). Which means every year the USG allows them to maintain their monopoly on pot and other drugs just makes the cartels stronger.


Volume vs. profit margin. Somewhere around 20 million people in the US use marijuana, which is a pretty damned big market.


I was watching a documentary and I believe I saw that 60% of Cartel income is from marijauna. Sorry I don't have a source.




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