So i dont get it. The Republican dominated supreme court threw out campaign finance controls, so anyone can give as much money as they want for any candidate. It is extremely difficult to track organized crime money (they excel in hiding their money). So why aren’t the Mexican drug cartels pumping millions into defeating the California voter initiative to legalize marijuana?
According to one govt report, California produced and put to market about 49K metric tons of marijuana in 2009. [This based on 5K tons being seized in California and about a 1 to 10 siezer to successful contraband ratio.] The street value of this is $500 billion dollars. For some perspective, this is just slightly smaller than the annual US Department of Defense budget for the same year or larger than the total nation income for each country in the world, except the largest 17, from Indonesia down.
Of course no one or group gets all this money. Thousands of street dealers and low end distributors get perhaps half of it. But the Mexican drug cartels which are active growing in the US in national forests and other places get a huge cut of this, lets say for arguement sake 10% or $50 billion. These came cartels have killed 28,000 people since the drug war started in its current incarnation in 2006, but the mainstream media does not report on them, because these deaths are almost all not US-americans.
Despite this tremednous amount of killing, these are not just the tough thugs simplistically depicted on television shows and action films. Some of them are high capable businessmen (and they are almost all men) who balance the deployment of bribes, intimidation of the press, coerce judges and politicans, launder money, evade US border control, manage a huge supply and distribution network and make lots of strategic decisions on how to run this complex, large and highly risky business.
Social darwinism is at work here overtime, it is not enuf to be ruthless, you need to be very clever and well suppported or you dont survive. These guys have accountants, lawyers, media people, tech wizards, para military generals and legions of troops and more working for them.
Where are there marketing strategists? If these drug lords were listening, these marketing experts would be saying “If California legalizes, it will crush our profits. Americans are stunningly gullible. For a mere $50 million (perhaps one tenth of a single percent of our gross revenues) in television advertising we can buy this election by putting up stern looking law enforcement types saying legalizing pot will mean that their kids will be on meth shortly and CA voters will get killed while driving to work by stoned motorists.”
The same advertising technology which convinced millions of Americans to buy expensive vehicles which are designed for off road use, who then never use them for this application, can be used to induce them to vote against their own best interest and vote against legalization.
The polls are tantalizingly close. Good businessmen would not wait til the very end of the election cycle to weigh in trying to influence the electorate. There are plenty of respectable clueless politicians who would carry the banner for them (including the all the candidates for Califorina’s governor), why aren’t they buying them air time ?
I am not complaining mind you, i just dont understand.
For a excellent table of poll results check out ballotpedia.org which i am unable to copy for some reason.