Marijuana that is grown out doors, just like any other agricultural crop is dependent on Mother Nature to cooperate with the effort. This year, a drought in Northern Mexico has gotten bad enough that it is now affecting the crops, including those that are illicit. Military officials, who wage much of the war against drug cartels and their products, say that the surveillance flights this year have shown large dry patches in land that is usually lush with illegal marijuana and poppy fields. Rain has been almost non-existent in the region, in a place where many marijuana crops depend on the rain for water. Agents have moved some operations to focus near streams, where they are finding marijuana farmers trying to eke out smaller crops by diverting water with pumps and hoses.
General Ricardo Trevilla said that the drop in illegal marijuana crops may lead to what he is reporting to sharp rise in the production of synthetic drugs. Trevilla says that the powerful cartels are increasingly turning to drug production for substances like methamphetamine because it has become more profitable, can be made much faster than a marijuana or poppy crop and needs less storage and is harder to detect in transport. Mexican authorities have been seizing record amounts of the chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, an busting a record number of Meth labs in Mexico city and Northern Mexico. In December alone, officials seized a staggering 675 TONS of a key precursor chemical, enough to produce incredible amounts of meth.