To the editor — As one would expect, there has been a lot of debate generated on the marijuana legalization Initiative 502. And like a lot of controversial issues there is speculation about what the consequences of passage would mean. Supporters of I-502 suggest that passage will curtail the violent drug trade in our state because access to marijuana would be easier and legal therefore eliminating the drug gangs/cartels’ power and control of that market.

However, supporters fail to consider the possibility of an increase in cartel drug activity if I-502 passes. Through the decades, Mexican cartels have proven themselves to be very resourceful in expanding their profitable drug trade in the U.S. Medical marijuana cards are already incredibly easy to get in our state and consequently marijuana is much more accessible, yet this has done nothing to slow the illegal drug trade, so why would I-502?

In fact, why couldn’t the cartels/gangs use our lenient marijuana laws to expand their growing operations here to supply the rest of the nation? As they complied with I-502 those gang members would be immune from state prosecution in Washington. Imagine a state law that protects gang members involved in the drug trade. How would that stop crime?