Cartels Ditch Pot and Opium Fields for Synthetic Drugs, Mexico Defense Secretary Says

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As the wholesale price-per-pound of legal cannabis plummets in some states bordering Mexico, cartels in the country are shifting to more lucrative drugs: fentanyl and other synthetic drugs. Mexico’s Secretary of Defense, General Luis Cresencio Sandoval said that for cartels, cannabis and other organic drugs like opium-rich poppies are out, and fentanyl is in. But the synthetic drugs don’t originate from Mexico. Mexico’s cartels once relied on organic farms of poppies and cannabis to produce drugs, but the times have changed. Illicit cannabis eradication in Mexico was slashed in half in recent years—aligning with the timeline of pot legalization up north.

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As the wholesale price-per-pound of legal cannabis plummets in some states bordering Mexico, cartels in the country are shifting to more lucrative drugs: fentanyl and other synthetic drugs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced this week that fentanyl is now the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18-45, thanks in part to criminal involvement in multiple countries.

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