Legalizing Marijuana Forces Cartels to Change Tactics in a Dangerous Way
Marijuana has been a huge profits for many illegal sellers and cartels, but legalizing marijuana forces cartels to change tactics in a dangerous way for many people. With legalization of marijuana in certain states and more states gearing up for legalization, people no longer need to go to a drug dealer. They can now go to a store and buy marijuana, without the risks that are associated with drug dealers and that type of environment.
This type of thought process by the consumers is cutting profits for street dealers and effecting drug cartels in a major way. Police believe that drug trafficking organizations are now turning to far more dangerous drugs to earn a profit. Cartels are flooding the streets with cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine to gain a profit and take there territory back over. The addictive and dangerous nature of these drug the cartels are pushing is the dangerous part. Police and Officials believe that our youth will be destroyed by these drugs. Lt. Mike Pooley, a Tempe police spokesman states, “They are plowing marijuana fields and planting opiates.â€ Lt. Pooley continues, â€œIt’s killing our youths. It’s an epidemic.”
The Tempe Police, along with the DEA and the Arizona Attorney General’s Office decided to investigate this trend in the cartels switching drugs. They called this investigation Operation Terminus, a 30 month long investigation that resulted in taking down an extensive drug trafficking network. This network stretched from Sinoloa, Mexico, to Phoenix. The network also reached as far as Los Angeles and Indianapolis.
Tom Ryff, the Police Chief of Tempe Arizona, pointed out that the one missing item from this investigation is marijuana. During Operation Terminus, there were 77 indictments, with authorities seizing $7.5 million cash. Authorities also seized 485 pounds of methamphetamine, 50 kilograms of cocaine, 4.5 pounds of heroin, and 37 firearms. No marijuana was seized at all. Officer Ryff explains, â€œHere, in Arizona alone, you can go to a strip mall and purchase marijuana.â€ Officer Ryff continues, â€œDrug cartels are sophisticated, they are a criminal enterprise.â€ Officer Ryff bluntly states, â€œIf the money is not there, they are going to change their tactics.â€
Police state that drug addictions have a large part to do with crime, especially robberies. Mesa police state they arrested a suspect who told them he used an air gun resembling a pistol to rob a bank. He reason for robbing the bank was to pay his heroin dealer. “Arizona is ground zero for drugs and our border states have been impacted just as is the borders in California, Texas, and New Mexico,” Hale, Tempe police Commander stated. Tempe police discharged a list of 70 offenders that were charged with a variety of drug trafficking crimes in the result of Operation Terminus. Operation Terminus also helped to prove that legalizing marijuana forces cartels to change tactics and distribute more dangerous drugs among communities, even as far as Indianapolis so far, maybe even further than that.