Legalize” Must make an activity lawful doesnt allow discretion to prohibit

Can’t solve- shift and profits in legal economy and gray markets

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Can’t solve- shift and profits in legal economy and gray markets

Krache-Morris 2013 (Evelyn, International Secretary Program Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International affairs at Harvard University, “Think Again: Mexican Drug Cartels”,

Hardly. Legalization has become an increasingly popular, if still controversial, proposal among those who think that the costs of the war on drugs have overwhelmed the benefits, including some Central and South American leaders, like Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina. But because DTOs are dealing in far more than just illegal drugs, the disappearance of one revenue stream would not eradicate the cartels or decisively erode their power. Even if the cartels were dependent on drug money, which they aren't, the idea that legalization is a binary switch that would cut off profits from the drug trade is fundamentally flawed. In the context of drugs like marijuana, "legalization" implies wide availability and fairly easy access, but it is highly unlikely that the U.S. government would remove all, or even many, restrictions on drugs like ecstasy or heroin, leaving the cartels' business in those narcotics intact. What's more, even legitimate drugs can spur illicit trade if they are in high demand but the supply is tightly controlled. Drugs like oxycodone, a highly addictive painkiller, are legally manufactured and sold in the United States, but "oxy" is strictly regulated under Schedule II of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. Those restrictions gave rise to a thriving black market in the drug, with prices reaching as high as $150 per pill. Licit drugs can also create highly profitable arbitrage opportunities for enterprising criminals if the laws that govern their distribution differ from state to state, as would likely be the case if marijuana or other drugs were widely legalized. Cigarettes are legal, yet interstate cigarette smuggling makes a great deal of money for organized crime; because of differing state tax rates, the opportunity for profit is substantial. Virginia, for example, which has among the lowest cigarette taxes in the nation, is grappling with increased criminal activity, because of trafficking to high-tax states like New York and New Jersey. (And Virginia's hardly the only one; other states, like Texas, have even seen armed hijackings of cigarette trucks.)

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