On Monday, a report was released from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which claimed that following the legalization of marijuana in certain states, it is now being smuggled from the U.S. into Mexico, instead of the other way around.
U.S. News reported that according to the DEA, the alleged smuggling is being conducted by Mexican cartels, and it “involves top-notch marijuana grown by American entrepreneurs.”
According to NPR, while at one time “virtually all the weed smoked in the States” came from south of the border, times have changed, due to the fact that marijuana plants from the U.S. are much more potent than the plants grown in Mexico.
RT reported that “instead of making $60-$90 per kilogram,” marijuana growers in Mexico are now making “between $30 and $40 per kilogram,” which could eventually make the growers “abandon the drug altogether.”
The Communication Director for the Marijuana Policy Project, Mason Tvert, is uncertain about the accuracy of the DEA’s claim.
“It’s certainly interesting if it is actually the case, but we should probably wait until there is confirmation that it’s even happening before we jump to conclusions,” said Tvert. “Unfortunately, the DEA doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to providing objective information about marijuana.”
Lawrence Payne, a spokesman for the DEA, told U.S. News that the majority of the trafficked marijuana is “being grown and obtained in states that have relaxed their marijuana laws, such as Colorado.”
Payne said that although they believed the trafficked marijuana is “much higher quality and more expensive for the purpose of smuggling back into Mexico for sale and distribution,” they have not been able to gauge the level of the trafficking.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have any specific information or numbers to quantify other than to say we know that it’s happening,” said Payne. “It’s too early to really know the level or scale of the trafficking southward.“