This morning, SSDP member Daniel Pacheco presented our Just Say Now petition with 52,000 signatures calling for an end to marijuana prohbition to Gil Kerlikowske, the U.S. Drug Czar during a press conference for Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month.
Daniel, a student at Georgetown University and originally from Colombia, asks why the ONDCP continues to deny that legalizing marijuana would take away drug cartel's massive profits. When Dir. Kerlikowske says that marijuana is only a small part of their income, Daniel tells him he's downplaying marijuana's role in the black market drug trade and disrespecting the 28,000 people murdered in Mexico's drug prohibition violence. He then hands the petition to Director Kerlikowske. You have to watch this video.
Kerlikowske is basically discrediting the findings of his own department, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, by saying that their report citing that 60% of cartel revenue is coming from marijuana is from 2006 and used data from 1997 and therefore is too old to be trusted. He flat out lies by saying that legalizing marijuana would only take away a small part of DTO profits (and essentially admitting that legalization would take away some profit). But we don't have to go all the way back to 1997 for this information. In 2008, the FBI released a report with these findings:
Mexico is the number one foreign supplier of marijuana abused in the United States. In fact, according to a 2008 inter-agency report, marijuana is the top revenue generator for Mexican DTOs—a cash crop that finances corruption and the carnage of violence year after year. The profits derived from marijuana trafficking—an industry with minimal overhead costs, controlled entirely by the traffickers—are used not only to finance other drug enterprises by Mexico’s poly-drug cartels, but also to pay recurring “business” expenses, purchase weapons, and bribe corrupt officials.
So basically, ONDCP now has to discredit their own findings and ignore those of the FBI in order to defend their backwards stance on marijuana legalization!
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