TIJUANA, MEXICO – To embattled authorities here, where heavily armed soldiers patrol the streets and more than 500 people have been killed this year, marijuana is a poisonous weed that enriches death-dealing cartel bosses who earn huge profits smuggling the product north.
“Marijuana arrives in the United States soaked with the blood of Tijuana residents,” said Mayor Jorge Ramos, whose police department has lost 45 officers to drug violence in recent years.
But just over the border in California, cannabis is considered by law a healing herb. After the Obama administration announced that it would not prosecute the purveyors, about 100 medical marijuana dispensaries opened in San Diego alone in the past year, selling vast quantities of Purple Goo, Green Crack and other varieties of super-charged pot.
The marijuana divide between these sister cities points to major disparities between the fight against drugs in Mexico and their acceptance in the United States.