November 7, 2011

Report: Mexican Drug Cartels Infiltrating Calif. Medical Pot Industry

Brace yourself for a barrage of attacks from the anti-MMJ crowd. And with good reason.

A recent investigative report by Full Disclosure Network – a non-profit public affairs program that focuses on investigative pieces – claims that members of various drug cartels based in Mexico are surreptitiously taking control of industrial marijuana farms in California.

According to retired L.A. County Sheriff Sgt. Richard Valdemar, the cartels have created a mafia-like environment defined by threats of violence and other forms of intimidation. Representatives of the cartels in the United States reportedly dupe unsuspecting farmers, saying they want to lease land for medical marijuana operations. They then funnel the weed grown on the properties to the cartels, which distribute the drugs throughout their networks. When the farmers who own the  land realize what’s going on, the cartels threaten violence if the police are notified. In one case, the cartels even threatened a man’s family. Valdemar says that the cartels often fail to pay workers – who are illegal immigrants – as well as the farmers and use numerous “bullying” tactics.

If you try to dispute something with them, “they are not going to to take you to court and sue you, they’re going to kill you and you’re going to be found in one of those fields, buried,” Valdemar says on the program.

“The whole state is being taken over by these cartel-run marijuana industrial-size farms,” he added later in the piece.

Valdemar goes on to talk about the dangers of legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes or recreational use, citing the situation in the U.S. after Prohibition ended. Al Capone, for instance, grew even more dangerous when alcohol was legalized, and the same scenario will play out with the Mexican cartels, Valdemar said. “It  will corrupt California,” he added.

Titled “The Dark Side of Medical Marijuana,” the report is definitely worrisome for the industry and could give MMJ a serious black eye. This is the type of news that can sink the entire sector, creating a huge amount of backlash. If true, it’s also a serious problem that must be dealt with quickly.

However, it is a very one-sided report based on a single interview. No attempts are made to examine the extent of the problem or shed light on whether the government is concerned or doing anything about it. There also hasn’t been much reaction to the report from the public, law enforcement or elected officials.

And here’s an interesting side note. Full Disclosure Network included a short poll on its website below the video. One question asked viewers whether they think marijuana should be legal. Roughly 85% said yes, despite having viewed the report about the dangers of medical pot.

Post Your Comment:


Please note:
Comments are moderated by our editors who do their best to approve comments ASAP. As Marijuana Business Daily is focused on business, we approve comments that are specifically relevant to industry professionals. General opinions and questions about cannabis may not be posted.

Nevada Dispensary Considers Lawsuit Over Delays

A dispensary in Nevada that has been hoping to open since February is considering filing [click to continue...]

WA Cannabis Shops Busted for Selling to Minors

Nineteen Washington State marijuana stores face suspensions and fines after they failed to properly check [click to continue...]

Dispensary Bill on Tap in Michigan

Michigan medical cannabis issues, pot dispensary updates, news about marijuana by state

Concerned with what might happen if voters legalize recreational marijuana at the ballot next year, [click to continue...]

CDC Calls for Strict Edibles Labeling, Public Education

After evaluating a fatal accident that took place last year in Denver, the Center for [click to continue...]

Israel to Sell Medical Marijuana in Pharmacies

Israel, one of the world’s leading countries on medical cannabis research, will soon be dispensing [click to continue...]

Third Minnesota Dispensary Opens Despite Low Patient Count

Photo of open sign

Minnesota’s third medical cannabis dispensary has opened despite the low number of patients registered to [click to continue...]

Police Raid Business Owned By CA Industry Association Exec

A business run by the president of the California Cannabis Industry Association was raided and [click to continue...]

Illinois Poised to Begin Seed-to-Sale Tracking

As Illinois’ medical marijuana industry ramps up, regulatory officials are preparing to start following medical [click to continue...]

Washington State Dispensaries to Benefit From PTSD Addition

marijuana conditions

A week after Colorado shot down an attempt to add post-traumatic stress disorder as a [click to continue...]

MMJ Patient Boom in Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s three medical cannabis dispensaries must be pleased: In the past two and a [click to continue...]

Canadian PM Candidate Wants Legal Dispensaries

Justin Trudeau, a candidate for prime minister of Canada, came to the defense of dispensaries [click to continue...]

Inspector Turnover Could Delay Nevada Dispensaries

dispensary delays

Hurry up and wait. That appears to be the situation for medical marijuana businesses in [click to continue...]

California Report Calls for Strong Regulations on Legal Marijuana

A working group overseen by California’s lieutenant governor has issued a report outlining 58 policy [click to continue...]

Florida Medical Cannabis Campaign Takes Step Forward

United for Care, which was behind the failed 2014 campaign to legalize medical cannabis in [click to continue...]

Marijuana Business Daily