With U.S. Competition Hurting Its Marijuana Business, Mexico Warms to Legalization

For decades, marijuana flowed in one direction across the U.S.-Mexico border: north.

These days, drug enforcement agents regularly seize specialty strains of retail-quality cannabis grown in the United States being smuggled south.

Activists march along Reforma Avenue in Mexico City on May 6, 2017 demanding the depenalization of marijuana. (Credit: YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Activists march along Reforma Avenue in Mexico City on May 6, 2017 demanding the depenalization of marijuana. (Credit: YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Widespread legalization in the U.S. is killing Mexico’s marijuana business, and cartel leaders know it. They are increasingly abandoning the crop that was once was their bread and butter and looking elsewhere for profits, producing and exporting drugs including heroin and fentanyl and banking on extortion schemes and fuel theft.

So when Mexico’s tourism secretary this week boldly declared his hopes that Mexico will legalize marijuana for recreational use in an effort to reduce growing violence across the nation, some balked at the notion that marijuana was driving the bloodshed.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.