Feds Cast Doubt on "Cartel" Myth

September 20 - For the first time, officials are casting doubt on the popular myth that Mexican "cartels" are responsible for illegal marijuana grows on public lands in California. A story published today in the Sacramento Bee Mexican marijuana growers boldly operate in California says:

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration special agent Gordon Taylor said authorities "have
not seen any direct link" to notorious cartels in Mexico, including the Sinaloa, Tijuana, Ju√°rez and Gulf cartels, and other violent networks known as La Familia and Los Zetas."That doesn't mean the link isn't there. We just haven't seen it to date," said Taylor, who investigates marijuana grows in rugged terrain from the lower Central Valley to Oregon. "But there is no question that drug-trafficking organizations from Mexico, not necessarily tied to a cartel, are bringing up people, crossing into the United States illegally, and using them to grow marijuana in California.

It's good to see that the federal government has finally come around to recognizing what we have been saying a long time - there's no evidence of significant "cartel" involvement in California's marijuana market.
- D. Gieringer

UPDATE 9/21: New York Times When a `Cartel' Really Isn't