One of the key issues in the debate of the full legalization of marijuana in California is whether voter approval for Prop. 19 would change the cartel-linked supply lines for pot in the Golden State.
On Monday Baja California state Attorney General Rommel Moreno told Mexican reporters a Sunday night slaying of 13 people at a Tijuana drug-rehab center might be related to a record, 135-metric-ton seizure of California-bound marijuana in that city last week.
According to Yahoo News:
Shortly after the attack, a voice was heard over a police radio frequency threatening that there would be as many as 135 killings in Tijuana — a possible reference to the record marijuana seizure.
Baja California state Attorney General Rommel Moreno said attack on the rehab center also might have stemmed from a dispute between rival drug-dealing gangs but that investigators were looking into a possible connection with the seizure.
Of course, the violence brings up the question of whether California's big demand for pot — legalized in 1996 for medical users — is fueling drug violence south of the border, and whether Prop. 19's attempt to legalize possession of up to once ounce for the 21-and-up set will do anything to improve the situation.
Nevada County, California's TheUnion.com notes that 60 percent of drug cartels' income comes from the U.S. marijuana business.
A state drug enforcement official tells the publication that even if Prop. 19 passes, the drug game won't change:
“Most of what (cartels) are growing … goes out of state,” said Special Agent Michelle Gregory of the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. “I doubt they will go away. They make so much money off it.”