The point of legalizing marijuana was to stop jailing people whose only crime was inhaling, make a little money for the government, and put the crooks out of business.
But, in a world where nothing is ever that easy, there was bound to be fallout.
And the Washington Post is now reporting that one consequence of legalizing marijuana is a growing number of heroin addicts.
How can that be?
It’s the magic of the marketplace.
With so many Americans now growing pot legally, Mexico’s marijuana cartels can’t make any money. Logically, the pot traffickers would see that we’ve outfoxed them, accept the error of their ways, and become upstanding citizens.
But instead, guess what they’ve decided to do?
They’ve decided to grow poppies, and sell heroin instead of marijuana. This turns out to be the perfect time to do it, because the feds have been cracking down on prescription drug abuse – which means it’s getting harder to find hydrocodone and oxycontin.
So with the price of weed plummeting and the price of prescription drugs skyrocketing, Mexican weed plots are being replaced by poppy farms, and the Mexican drug cartels are flooding the market with $4 heroin hits, and finding plenty of customers in small towns like Winchester, Virginia, and Brattleboro, Vermont.
The government is trying to eradicate the poppies just as it once went after marijuana, but as long as bleeding the sap from mature poppies pays up to $40 a day, which is the most you can make as a farm laborer in Mexico, it’s looking like the drug war just got a second wind.