Huffington Post, 10/26/2010
Senior Mexican government officials have lobbied U.S. leaders against legalizing marijuana in California, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (who represents San Francisco) told HuffPost. The opposition to Proposition 19 further complicates what is already a disputed relationship between legalizing marijuana in the United States and reducing cartel violence in Mexico, much of which is fueled by the pot trade.
“I don’t know if the state is ready to go that way,” Pelosi said of legalizing pot in an interview in her Capitol office, “and I have the Mexicans coming in here and saying, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is going to be problematic if in fact there’s the decriminalization of marijuana.” Mexican officials worry that legalization would lead to increased demand, which could funnel more money to the cartels. Backers of the initiative, however, note that under legalization, regulated production would take place within the state rather than in Mexico, cutting out the cartels.