Study: Legalizing pot won’t hinder Mexican cartels

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — A new study says Mexico’s drug traffickers aren’t likely to lose much profit if California legalizes marijuana, because residents of America’s largest pot-consuming state prefer to grow their own.

The study by the nonpartisan RAND Drug Policy Research Center says that means the legalization proposal on the California’s November ballot also will do little to quell drug gangs’ violence.

Californians make up one-seventh of the U.S. marijuana market. The study released Tuesday found they’re already farming pot at a much higher rate than neighboring states and tend to buy locally.

Officials on both sides of the border agree vast profits cartels collect in the U.S. fuel drug wars to the south.

But RAND found only about 3 percent of Mexican marijuana sales are in California.

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