Understand; marijuana carries the least amount of overhead cost for many of the cartels and provides some of their cash flow for buying guns and influence. Estimates vary, but analysts say pot accounts for somewhere in the range of 20 to 50 percent of the cartels’ profits. What I'd like to point out is that there are many institutions that have built a level of necessity around the war on drugs and the inclusion of Marijuana.
Who would lose in the states? Well, pot is a type of Hemp. An easy to grow plant that requires very little overhead and can be used for more than just rope and money.
The cotton industry will fight this legislation as well as the tree/paper industry. Both have much to lose if hemp is allowed to be grown and harvested outside of the smoking use. Hemp yields such a large volume of fiber source per plant and would completely devistate the tree harvesting industry. We would see forests lasting longer while the plant is easy to manage, it also produces 10X the oxygen as the same aged tree.
Clothing made from hemp is as soft as cotton, more durable, and resists mildew. Not what the cotton farmers want to hear. We could actually see a rise in American textile manufacturing because hemp is cheaper to grow and process than cotton. Maybe those same cotton farmers could change what they're growing.
But getting back to California; if the measure passes, that state could become a major supplier of the drug to the rest of the U.S. That would hurt the cartels badly. It's estimated that it could reduce the drug’s pretax price by more than 80 percent. But like any taxable commodity, the rate has to fit the demand. If you tax high-grade California cannabis at a competitive level than the less potent Mexican imports, you cut the illegal market price by default.
If you're worried about the prison industry and the employment status of some Californians, the pot paradigm change wouldn’t put the cartels out of business...they’d still be major players in the markets for cocaine, heroin, and meth. So, as long as we continue to ignore the porous border situation, we will have a steady flow of clients for the prisons in the border states. Don't worry.