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Weed wars: will legalizing marijuana in California reduce drug trafficking and violence in Mexico?




Military police stand guard at the scene of a drug-related murder in Juarez, Mexico.
Military police stand guard at the scene of a drug-related murder in Juarez, Mexico.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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Not really, says a new study from the Rand Corporation. California voters will consider a ballot measure in November, Proposition 19, that would authorize the commercial cultivation, regulation and taxation of marijuana in local jurisdictions. Proponents of Prop.19 argue that its passage would hugely reduce drug revenues but according to this study, Mexican cartels generate at most $2 billion, significantly less than government and other groups estimate. And, researchers found, legal pot would not stem the tide of drug-related violence in Mexico. Is the case for legalization up in smoke? How much does marijuana contribute to drug profits and border violence?

Guest:

Beau Kilmer, director of the Rand Drug Policy Research Center