Updated 12:16 PM EDT, Thu, Oct 21, 2021

US Marijuana Legalization Update: US State Legalization Directly Affecting Drug Cartel Profits, Oregon and Alaska to Vote on Legalization this Year

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With a number of states voting on marijuana legalization and several already saying OK to recreational weed sales and use, drug cartels, according to experts are taking a hit when it comes to one of their favorite cash crops. Marijuana remains illegal on a federal level, but two states Colorado and Washington became the first to make weed legal in 2012.

Oregon, Florida, Washington D.C. and Alaska will vote on marijuana legalization later this year. If those states vote YES and increase legal weed availability and use to a half-dozen states, the price for the drug is sure to drop. A former federal official told Vice News that drug cartels stand to lose about 30 percent of their business with further marijuana legalization measures.

The states that are considering the widest legalization efforts include Oregon, which would  make possessing up to 8 ounces and four plants of marijuana legal for adults 21 and older. It would also allow production and sale of the drug. Alaska would become the first red state to legalize weed, and would allow anyone 21 years or older to posses as much as one ounce of marijuana and keep six pot plants. 

And since drug legalization has gone into effect in the U.S., it's been heavily suggested cartels are losing millions of dollars. "By some accounts , legalization in Colorado kept $5 million from the hands of criminals the first week, much of which, if the US government is to be believed, would have gone to Mexican traffickers," reported the website theweedblog.com.

The war on drugs, which has involved sending U.S. weapons to fight cartels has been blamed on the violence in the Central American region that has led to the recent child immigration crisis. It's believed that ending the war on drugs and by legalizing marijuana, a lot of the violence in the region would drop, explains stopthedrugwar.com.

And Townhall.com reported "Latin America is the largest global exporter  of cannabis and cocaine. In 2011 the DOJ's now-shuttered National Drug Intelligence Center found that the top cartels controlled the majority of drug trade  in marijuana, heroin, and methamphetamine in over 1,000 US cities."

The so-called Golden Triangle region in Mexico that touches Sinaloa, Durango and Chihuahua is the most heavily involved in drug production, where farmers are paid hefty sums to cultivate weed. While multiple cartels operate in the region, producing various drugs for sale throughout the world, reports suggest the Sinaloa Cartel would stand to lose the most money.

If Oregon joins Washington and Colorado in making weed legal, then the cartel could lose up to half of its profits.

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