Does Golden Triangle Foretell doom for Emerald Triangle?

poppy field

From the Washington Post:

Farmers in the storied “Golden Triangle” region of Mexico’s Sinaloa state, which has produced the country’s most notorious gangsters and biggest marijuana harvests, say they are no longer planting the crop. Its wholesale price has collapsed in the past five years, from $100 per kilogram to less than $25.

“It’s not worth it anymore,” said Rodrigo Silla, 50, a lifelong cannabis farmer who said he couldn’t remember the last time his family and others in their tiny hamlet gave up growing mota. “I wish the Americans would stop with this legalization.”

Not just south of the border, it’s like a slow motion disaster scenario playing out in the hills of Northern California. A drought of historic proportions and a collapsing market. Many Marijuana farmers are still sitting on last years crop unwilling or unable to sell at the low market prices. Even farmers with well established connections on the East Coast are complaining of a saturated market and much lower prices.

Is the Green Rush in the Emerald Triangle ending only to be replaced by a Gold rush similar to what happening in Sinaloa? The Cartels learned with weed, its lot easier to move people across the border to grow than to move the product. Opium poppies more drought resistant and can grow and thrive in very dry conditions like for instance Afghanistan.

Only time will tell, but one thing is for certain. With prices dropping and the potential for an even more saturated market with legalization, people will have to look to other black market products to keep their enormous profits flowing.opium poppy


4 thoughts on “Does Golden Triangle Foretell doom for Emerald Triangle?

  1. Somehow this does not make me feel very happy…


  2. The Roots of Sinaloa’s Drug Trade

    Many trace Sinaloa’s first narcotics crop–opium–to the numerous Chinese settlers who arrived in the last half of the 19th century. “It was a good agricultural place for it. And generation after generation the people just did it, they perfected it,” explains Edward Heath, former Country Attache for the DEA in Mexico. But large scale production of opium didn’t start until the 1940’s and World War II. Japan gained control of the Asian opium supply and the U.S. military needed morphine for its soldiers. So the U.S. turned to Mexico for help. “We were concerned that our supply of opium or morphine would be cut off because the world was at war. So we needed a supply close by. But,that was one of those black box things. Who knows when it happened, who did it, and why.” says Edward Heath. During this period of a government-tolerated opium trade, many Sinaloans made their fortune. “Everybody was growing it, it was institutional. Some government officials bought the harvest from the farmers to export themselves. There were even soldiers up in the hills caring for the plants,” explains Dr. Ley Dominguez, a 77-year-old life long resident of Mocorito, one of Sinaloa’s most notorious opium regions. After Japan’s defeat, however, the U.S. no longer needed Sinaloa’s inferior strain of opium. But many farmers continued to produce opium and heroin; operations became more clandestine, and a smuggling network was set up.

    In the mid-1980s, Sinaloa’s marijuana and heroin smugglers turned to a new product: cocaine. Colombia’s drug traffickers were finding it increasingly difficult to bring cocaine into the U.S. through South Florida. So they began looking for alternate routes–and found willing partners in Mexico’s smugglers.

    The relationship lasted a few years until the Mexicans tired of just smuggling cocaine for a fee and began demanding payment in cocaine. The Mexicans soon set up their own distribution networks in the U.S. and greatly increased their profits and power. “From that moment on, the power of corruption definitely increased,” said Guillermo Gonzalez Calderoni. “The organizations became much richer, much more powerful, with much more control. Now it wasn’t one million or two million, it was 15, 20, 30, 40 million dollars that they could make off a single payment. ”

    And so the gangsters from Culiacan became world famous kingpins of complex criminal enterprises–many resembling multi-national corporations in structure.

    “They’re not the common criminal that you’re going to see with a golden tooth, black shirt and a white tie with a .45, just standing in a corner. They’re not like that anymore. They have another type of thinking. They work with computers, with the best technicians in every field. They have the best chemists in the world. The best lawyers. The best architects. They have the best of the best,” said Juan Ponce Edmondson of Interpol.


  3. Now if they could just get the ‘Robin Hood’ complex, what a better world they might be able to create. Wouldn’t that turn a few heads?


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