By Alejandro Hope for El Daily Post. Bringing on some competition. Guerrero, as is well known, is the most violent state in Mexico. A significant portion of that violence is fueled by a thriving heroin trade. To tackle that problem, the newly elected state governor, Héctor Astudillo, has been pushing a seemingly radical notion: licensing farmers to legally produce opium poppy for medicinal purposes (as done in at least 11 countries around the world). And that seems like a good idea that, if well-implemented, could a) provide a legal livelihood to non-trivial number of people in remote rural areas, and b) maybe increase access to essential pain-relieving medicines. But there is one thing it will certainly not do: reduce heroin-fueled violence.
Grounds for pessimism. Why not? Think about the economics of the heroin trade: