Marijuana legalization in the US making Mexican drug gangs poorer

We’re still not sure of the full impact of marijuana legalization, in terms of pot use and abuse, in the states that have legalized. But a report from Deborah Bonello for the Los Angeles Times shows one way that legalization for recreational and medical purposes is working:

The loosening of marijuana laws across much of the United States has increased competition from growers north of the border, apparently enough to drive down prices paid to Mexican farmers. Small-scale growers here in the state of Sinaloa, one of the country’s biggest production areas, said that over the last four years the amount they receive per kilogram has fallen from $100 to $30.

The price decline appears to have led to reduced marijuana production in Mexico and a drop in trafficking to the U.S., according to officials on both sides of the border and available data.

As Bonello reports, the drop in price — and competition from higher-quality US-made marijuana — is hitting drug cartels, too. So now they have to look to other opportunities, or look for ways to deal in high-quality cannabis, to make up for lost profits, or just accept the hit in their finances.

This was a predictable outcome of legalization, but still a big deal and welcome news. One of the major arguments for legal pot is that it will weaken drug cartels, cutting off a major source of revenue and inhibiting their ability to carry out violent acts — from mass murders to beheadings to extortion — around the world. And cannabis used to make up a significant chunk of cartels’ drug export revenue: as much as 20 to 30 percent, according to previous estimates…

❝Will this be enough to completely eliminate drug cartels? Certainly not. These groups deal in far more than pot, including extortion and other drugs like cocaine and heroin.

Still, it will hurt. As the numbers above suggest, marijuana used to be a big source of drug cartels’ revenue, and that’s slowly but surely going away…But it’s a potentially huge win for Mexico and other Latin American countries.

Which is exactly what was predicted by the example of other nations more enlightened than Congress and the average flavor of American politicians. This is what anyone who examines the results of prohibition – and the end of prohibition – around the modern world would expect.

The rest is silence – and cowardice.

Let’s start the year off with Woody Guthrie

Arlo Guthrie singing Woody’s DEPORTEES

On January 1, 1943, the American folk music legend Woody Guthrie jotted in his journal a list of 33 “New Years Rulin’s.” Nowadays, we’d call them New Year’s Resolutions. Adorned by doodles, the list is down to earth by any measure. Family, song, taking a political stand, personal hygiene — they’re the values or aspirations that top his list…Here’s a transcript..:

1. Work more and better
2. Work by a schedule
3. Wash teeth if any
4. Shave
5. Take bath
6. Eat good — fruit — vegetables — milk
7. Drink very scant if any
8. Write a song a day
9. Wear clean clothes — look good
10. Shine shoes
11. Change socks
12. Change bed cloths often
13. Read lots good books
14. Listen to radio a lot
15. Learn people better
16. Keep rancho clean
17. Dont get lonesome
18. Stay glad
19. Keep hoping machine running
20. Dream good
21. Bank all extra money
22. Save dough
23. Have company but dont waste time
24. Send Mary and kids money
25. Play and sing good
26. Dance better
27. Help win war — beat fascism
28. Love mama
29. Love papa
30. Love Pete
31. Love everybody
32. Make up your mind
33. Wake up and fight

Hasta la victoria siempre

Our coppers killed 1,134 in 2015 – you were 9 times more likely to be killed if you were Black


Carrying a dangerous weapon – a cameraScott Wilson/Getty

Young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015, according to the findings of a Guardian study that recorded a final tally of 1,134 deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers this year.

Despite making up only 2% of the total US population, African American males between the ages of 15 and 34 comprised more than 15% of all deaths logged this year by an ongoing investigation into the use of deadly force by police. Their rate of police-involved deaths was five times higher than for white men of the same age.

Paired with official government mortality data, this new finding indicates that about one in every 65 deaths of a young African American man in the US is a killing by police…

About 25% of the African Americans killed were unarmed, compared with 17% of white people. This disparity has narrowed since the database was first published on 1 June, at which point black people killed were found to be twice as likely to not have a weapon.

The Guardian’s investigation, titled The Counted, began in response to widespread concern about the federal government’s failure to keep any comprehensive record of people killed by police. Officials at the US Department of Justice have since begun testing a database that attempts to do so, directly drawing on The Counted’s data and methodology…

Regional disparities also emerged from the year’s data. Earlier this month, the Guardian published a series of special reports on Kern County, California, where police killed more people relative to the size of its population than anywhere else in the country. Law enforcement officers there killed more people in 2015 than the NYPD, which has 23 times as many officers policing a population 10 times as big.

Following a spate of killings in recent weeks, New Mexico’s 21 deaths in 2015 represented the highest per-capita rate of any state…

Only one of the 21 people killed by police in New Mexico, however, was unarmed. By contrast nine of the 25 people killed in New York state were unarmed, and seven of these were black men.

RTFA. Detailed, well written, the GUARDIAN took on a task long overdue. Neither our government nor many civil bodies have been willing to confront the statistics defining one of the most painful aspects of racism in America.

We can talk all day about the details of law enforcement in a comparatively lawless culture. Anarchy is a well-respected cultural trait. Just not under its own name. The same is true of the racism which remains deadly and rooted in our economic history, our political character.