Mexican drug cartels are turning to heroin as more U.S. states legalize marijuana, according to USA Today.
Small farmers who used to plant marijuana to be smuggled in the United States are switching to opium poppies, which brings them a better price. The opium gum is harvested and processed into heroin.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, marijuana seizures have fallen by more than half since 2012, while seizures of heroin and methamphetamine have soared.
Heroin seizures by the U.S. Border Patrol rose from 430 pounds in 2012 to 953 pounds in 2017.
Marijuana seizures dropped from 2,299,864 pounds in 2012 to 861,231 pounds in 2017. Meth seizures rose from 3,715 pounds in 2012 to 10,328 pounds in 2017.