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Prop. 19 Won't Immediately Calm Cartel Violence, If At All

Supporters of Proposition 19 to legalize marijuana in California say Mexico's drug war has failed and it's time for a new approach. Even so, they say Proposition 19 is not a quick solution. Critics say it is not a solution at all.

California voters will decide next month whether people should be allowed to have an ounce of marijuana and grow a 25 square foot plot and if cities and counties should be able to tax legal pot sales.

Supporters of Proposition 19 say it's a first step in ending the drug violence in Mexico that's claimed nearly 30,000 lives in the last four years.

Dante Haro is a Professor at the University of Guadalajara. At a meeting at the University of San Diego today, he said it's a farce to think Proposition 19 will go very far toward ending drug violence. "Mexico will take anything that could have a positive effect because the country is in a grave crisis," said Haro.

Mexico's President opposes Proposition 19. A recent Rand Corporation study says cartels could lose two to four percent of their earnings if California legalizes marijuana.

When cartel profits drop, historically, violence spikes, at least in the short term.

Cartels make billions of dollars smuggling drugs other than marijuana, like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. The battle to smuggle those drugs is vicious.