Struggling to compete with fentanyl, Mexico’s poppy farmers ask for legalization

"Not growing poppies means not having money"
Filter (US)
Monday, February 4, 2019

Guerrero is Mexico’s third-poorest state and the center of its opium industry. If the state of 3.5 million were an independent country, it would be the top opium producer in the Americas. The roughly 50,000 hectares planted with poppies in the state support the economies of thousands of communities and hundreds of thousands of people. Starting about two years ago, traffickers began offering less and less, and rumors circulated that the price drop was due to competition from a new synthetic drug, manufactured in China and also in some fentanyl-producing laboratories detected in other parts of Mexico. (See also: Fentanyl overdoses spike on Mexico’s northern border but remain invisible | As opium poppies bloom, Mexico seeks to halt heroin trade)