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.
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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."