Top Pro & Con Arguments


The black market and organized crime benefit from marijuana legalization.

Law enforcement says that legal marijuana has actually enhanced opportunities for the black market. [134] Prices charged by state-licensed sellers can easily be undercut by cartels. [173] A drug dealer told Vice News, “Right now with the way the tax structure is in Washington, the black market is going to thrive.” [135]


In Colorado, a sharp increase in marijuana-related charges filed under the state’s Organized Crime Control Act coincided with the legalization of marijuana, indicating a rise in organized crime. [102] The Colorado Attorney General’s office stated that legalization “has inadvertently helped fuel the business of Mexican drug cartels… cartels are now trading drugs like heroin for marijuana, and the trade has since opened the door to drug and human trafficking.” [134] Local officials said that Mexican cartels were growing marijuana under the cover of legal operations in Colorado and using that to fuel the black market in other states. [134][174]

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