Attorney General Terry Goddard said Tuesday he might be willing to consider legalizing marijuana if a way can be found to control its distribution – and figure out who has been smoking it.
Goddard said marijuana sales make up 75 percent of the money that Mexican cartels use for other operations, including smuggling other drugs and fighting the Mexican army and police.
He said that makes fighting drug distribution here important to cut off that cash. He acknowledged those profits could be slashed if possession of marijuana were not a crime in Arizona.
This is the first time I can recall a state Attorney General publicly – and accurately – commenting on the connection between the power of Mexico’s cartels (which are terrorizing the U.S.-Mexico border) and the fact that marijuana prohibition gives them the billions of dollars that make them so powerful. Figuring out how to regulate the sale of marijuana to adults is a minor challenge for state governments when compared to the benefits from increased tax revenue and the significant drop in money going to armed gangs along our southern border.
UPDATE: A longer version of the same article is here, which contains this classic comment from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Matthew Allen:
“But if we’re going to go down that road, what is the acceptable amount of marijuana that you want a bus driver to have in their system?” [Allen] continued.
“I believe it’s zero,” Goddard said later.
I do too. Just like alcohol, which is legally sold to adults.