Someone Is Lying: Latest RAND Reports Disputes Feds’ Longstanding Cartel Claims

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 12, 2010

    A report released today by the RAND Drug Policy Research Center undercuts the longstanding federal government claim that Mexican drug gangs are reaping the bulk of their profits from the exportation of marijuana to the United States.

    States RAND, “The claim that 60 percent of Mexican drug trafficking organizations gross drug export revenues comes from marijuana is not credible.”

    And just who was the source of this ‘not credible’ statistic? In this case, full credit must go to the nation’s top anti-drug office, the Office of National Drug Control Policy — aka the Drug Czar’s office.

    Marijuana big earner for Mexico gangs
    via The Associated Press

    Posted 2/21/2008 8:55 PM |

    MEXICO CITY — Marijuana is now the biggest source of income for Mexico’s drug cartels and the U.S. is committed to cracking down harder on traffickers, U.S. drug czar John Walters said Thursday.

    “We’re trying to increase the force with which we’re attacking this problem,” Walters said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “This is a focus because of the overlooked importance marijuana has in the violence.”

    Walters made the comments following a meeting with Mexican officials who want the U.S. to prosecute marijuana cases more zealously to reduce the amount of cash gangs can spend on guns.

    … Walters said the U.S. government is seeking additional resources to prosecute traffickers of marijuana, which now earns cartels about $8.5 billion or about 61 percent of their annual estimated income of $13.8 billion. Cocaine sales earn the cartels about $3.9 billion, and methamphetamine about $1 billion, he said.

    Today RAND retorts, “Mexican DTOs’ annual gross revenues from illegally exporting marijuana and selling it to wholesalers in the United States are likely less than $2 billion.”

    So who should we believe? On the one hand we have the federal government, which consistently lies about marijuana to further their own agenda. On the other hand, we have RAND, which also isn’t above making its own specious claims to further their own agenda — which in this case seems to be opposing California’s Prop. 19.

    Ultimately, however, the dueling statistics don’t really matter. Regardless of whether Mexican cartels are reaping 60 percent of their profits from pot or 16 percent, the fundamental principle remains the same: the criminal prohibition of marijuana fuels an underground, unregulated, black market economy that empowers criminal entrepreneurs and jeopardizes the public’s — and the marijuana consumer’s — safety.

    If you want to bring control of this market over to regulators, lawmakers, and licensed business, then you support legalization. If you wish to continue to abdicate control of this market to criminal gangs and drug traffickers, then you support prohibition.

    The choice is up to you.

    46 Responses to “Someone Is Lying: Latest RAND Reports Disputes Feds’ Longstanding Cartel Claims”

    1. jay says:

      As a Grower I always had a hard time buying into this statistic because of the simple fact that growing marijuana is really not that profitable. The money is in other illegal drugs not marijuana, and especially when it comes to indoor growing

    2. Brandon C says:

      Well said. It is as simple as that. This just further demonstrates the nefariousness of our Federal marijuana policies. This should be a clear indication that we need to allow for the legalization, taxation, and regulation of marijuana in all U.S. states and territories. Proposition 19 will not end the Mexican Drug Cartels, neither will it end the “60%” of their profit. No legitimate, knowledgable person in support of Proposition 19 is claiming it will end the Mexican Drug War. The importance of Proposition 19 is to reduce the Mexican Drug War in California, which it significantly will, but more importantly it will lead to the amelioration of the corrupt laws of marijuana throughout the United States. That is why Proposition 19 is so important. Please, if you already haven’t, vote YES on Prop 19. Help spread the message!

    3. Kim says:

      I often wonder what goes on in the minds of those who favor marijuana prohibition. do they ever think about the lives of hard working patriotic Americans that have been ruined over a plant that is a safer alternative to alcohol? Do they stop to think about family members who have or do partake? Are they ignorant and Cruel? I believe they are. You see I once stood in their ranks. It took seeing one of my own Sons life ruined by being put into prison for simple marijuana possession. He will be followed very closely by that criminal record. I no longer lack the intellectual curiosity needed to prevent ignorance.

    4. troy says:

      words of truth..id rather get my pot from a nice store than some gangbanger any day.

    5. freedom says:

      Is this any suprise? Our government is a twisted lie, so they do as they want.More of this will happen the cloer we get to nov 2. I expected more of this by now. They will twist their “facts” to suit their needs as they always have. Our government needs a serious shake down. Nov 2 could be the start of that.

      They lie about cannabis and most everything else they do in washington…anyone getting the picture? We are being run by criminals.

      Bah! their will still be those who wont see it even if you draw them a picture.

    6. Mike Stroup says:

      Liers are rarely able to keep their stories straight. That’s one of the ways you can tell they are liers. The people who have turned this once great nation into an Un-Godly, Unconstitutional, police state, are hypocritical, lying cowards. They should be arrested immediatly and thrown into prison for their cruel, counter productive, deadly violent violations of God-given inalienable human rights cited and acknowledged in the Constitution of the United States. How in the hell did American patriots let this get so out of hand? Has anyone ever heard of simply minding your own business, live and let live? If someone is doing or not doing anything that does not harm another, LEAVE THEM THE HELL ALONE!!!

    7. Fat Rick says:

      The tides are shifting, the public mind is evolving. My guess: More people would choose peace and prosperity over taxpayer fed, drug warfare – any day. So, go educate! You may be suprised how far we can all go.

    8. Pain-fully Stressed says:


    Leave a Reply