El Chapo and the Secret History of the Heroin Crisis

Okay, I’m going to say it: The heroin epidemic was caused by the legalization of marijuana.

We wanted legal weed, and for the most part, we got it. Four states have legalized it outright, others have decriminalized it, and in many jurisdictions police refuse to enforce the laws that are on the books, creating a de facto street legalization. {…}

In a single year, the cartel suffered a 40 percent drop in marijuana sales, representing billions of dollars. Mexican marijuana became an almost worthless product. They’ve basically stopped growing the shit: Once-vast fields in Durango now lie fallow.

More good news, right?

Yeah, no. Guzmán and his boys are businessmen. They’re not going to take a forty-point hit and not do something about it. They had to make up those profits somewhere.

So, perhaps the solution is to ban the most harmless subject imaginable, play a lot of cat-and-mouse trying to keep that out, and keep the cartels busy with the harmless stuff so they don’t get to the most harmful stuff.

I’m not sure what we could pick.

Wait a second, I don’t like this plan at all.


Category: Espresso

About the Author

Will Truman (trumwill) is a southern transplant in the mountain east with an IT background who bides his time taking care of their daughter while his wife brings home the bacon. You will probably be relieved to know that he does not generally refer to himself in the third-person except when he's writing short bios on his web page.

6 Responses to Maybe Pot Is A Gateway Drug After All

  1. Oscar Gordon says:

    His letter to policy makers nails it.

    • trumwill says:

      That article was actually helpful to me in pointing the way to a DYI provider. It looks to me like, if worse comes to worse, I will be able to end up just mixing my own.

      The stuff I buy is 22c-67c. Mixing my own gets me down to around 10 cents. That’s the good news. The bad news is… health hazards, ironically. Both that I’m winging it as far as ingredients go, and having concentrated nicotine around the house.

      Anyway, the drug article is fascinating.

  2. Jaybird says:

    Is that how markets work?

    That’s not how markets work.

    Wait, is that how markets work?

    • Jaybird says:

      And in thinking about this all night, I’m stuck coming up with how it might work.

      I don’t know how much heroin would cost. I don’t even want to google such a thing. So I am going to take the numbers from Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting For The Man”. So let’s say that it usually costs around $26 a dose for heroin.

      They legalize pot.

      You’re a guy who likes to go out and get high. Do some consciousness altering. You’ve got $26.

      How much weed can you get for $26? If the local alternative weekly is any indication, you can get an eighth of top shelf for that and up to a quarter of lower shelves.

      Now, I can’t compare apples to apples here because I don’t know if $26 of heroin also would provide days and days of entertainment. I can only say that a quarter ounce definitely would provide days and days.

      So let’s say that you’re trying to move heroin into a market where $26 will buy you a quarter ounce of regular weed and an eighth of top shelf.

      You’re going to have to slash prices.

      I can’t imagine slashing them enough to entice people away from weed *AND* still turning a profit, let alone one that will make up for lost weed revenue.

  3. KenB says:

    Maybe we should pay them not to produce drugs. If it’s good enough for American farmers it should be good enough for Mexican drug lords.

  4. trumwill says:

    Maybe we could implement something like a Thieves Guild from Discworld. (For those who haven’t read it, it’s basically a cap-and-trade program for crime, and enforcement is largely left to the criminals.)

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