Underneath all the ceremony and handshaking during President Obama’s visit to Mexico this week was the hard issue of immigration reform and the ugly reality of drug fueled violence, what the Economist called the “Unmentionables.” (See Article.)  While Obama and his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Pena Nieto,preferred to ignore the drug issue, Mexican law enforcement officials reported the discovery of 49 dismembered and headless bodies, likely drug war victims, found near the Mexican city of Monterrey. (Full story)

There is a dichotomy of views on the future of the Mexican drug war.  President Nieto has put strong limits on the role of American drug agents in Mexico, a step some American law enforcement authorities believe will strengthen the drug cartels.  But Mr. Aguilar Camín, a Mexican expert on the bi-lateral relationship between the US and Mexico, took a distinctly different view.  In the Economist article, Camin noted that marijuana legalization in two American states, Colorado and Washington —and the continued expansion of medical marijuana in other states, will lead to reduction in demand for Mexican marijuana, hurting the drug cartels.

Marijuana is the cartel’s cash cow, their biggest product.  Increased legal marijuana, whether recreational or medical, means less money going to the cartels.  As more and more states move to legalized marijuana, the horrors of headless drug war victims will finally end.