To say the least this is a thorny issue and one which almost no one does not have an opinion.

I don’t know if you are a praying man but I am and I have been praying for a solution to our drug issue here in Mexico and legalizing marijuana was definitely at the top of the list as it would cut into the profits of the drug cartels between 60 and 75 %.

If marijuana is legal in the United States there would be no reason to illegally import it from Mexico.

Even President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto said that the incoming administration would reconsider its anti-legalization stance in light of the developments in the United States.

These important modifications change somewhat the rules of the game in the relationship with the United States and it is thought that Mexico has to carry out a review of the joint policies in regard to drug trafficking and security in general. Obviously, Mexico cannot handle a product that is illegal in Mexico, trying to stop its transfer to the United States when part of the United States has a different status which may become more widespread sooner rather than later.

A report published by the Mexican Competitiveness Institute (IMC) last week estimated that Mexican drug cartels currently earn around two billion dollars a year from smuggling marijuana into the United States. Based on that fact alone what possible reason can one now come up with for not legalizing marijuana?

There was a national ban on the sale, manufacture and transportation of alcohol in place from 1920-1933 in the United States. Private ownership and consumption of alcohols was not made illegal. Prohibition, as it was called, ended with the ratification of the Twenty First Amendment which repealed the Eighteenth Amendment on December 5th, 1933.

Prohibition or no people who wanted to drink did so and it created an environment of illegal sale, manufacture (bath tub gin), and transportation of alcohol in a violent seedy underbelly of activities as is clearly depicted by the popular HBO series ”Boardwalk Empire”. People can now drink legally and alcohol is regulated and taxed appropriately creating much needed income for the Unites States.

People who want to smoke marijuana will continue to do so whether it is illegal or not. Legalizing marijuana would create revenue with regulation and taxing as with alcohol and better still would dramatically slash the profits of the Mexican drug cartels. All of which would be very good.

There are, of course, the naysayers who use the trite, overused expression that it is a slippery slope but the benefits of legalizing marijuana far outweigh the downside. I am not a marijuana smoker but you do not need to be one to know that this is the right thing to do.

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