GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

November 25, 2012

Letter: Pot trade remains a deadly industry

To the Editor;

Two years ago, I wrote a letter to the Daily Times in which I tried to get people to see the connections between the demand for illegal drugs in the U.S. and the horrific violence rocking Mexico.

I wrote that letter the morning after then Mexican President Felipe Calderon had given a powerful speech to the people of his nation urging them not to give up hope in the face of such violence and mayhem. President Calderon, in that speech, also called on the U.S. government and the American people to take responsibility for the fact that it was the huge demand for illegal drugs in the US fueling the violence in Mexico.

Well, saying that whipped up a firestorm in the Daily Times’ anonymous comment threads, with more than a few right wing posters accusing me of always blaming America first. The fact that what Felipe Calderon and I were saying was true mattered not a whit

This letter may tick off as many liberal readers as my first one did. That’s because, after watching a documentary recently here titled “Marijuana Wars”, I’ve realized it’s time to get honest and debunk the myth that buying a little “ganja” is a harmless activity.

With the violence in Mexico raging unabated, and with marijuana sales in the U.S. still the biggest component of the cartels’ huge profits, any American, young or old, who is buying marijuana on the street is, more than likely, buying a product grown by any number of Mexican cartels. These cartels are, increasingly, growing their product, not in Mexico but on vast tracts of isolated, federal lands in the US, particularly in northern California, where the climate is conducive to cultivating a particularly high quality “herb”.

This high quality “herb” is in high demand among American users. It is distributed throughout the U.S. It is a multi-billion dollar a year industry.

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