"The criminals will turn to other means if drugs cease to be a lucrative venture.
They are thugs.
To clarify, Yes, something like this. Not to knock Mexico but the Mexican Federal Government namely PRI has been a criminal organization a lot of the time for years.
It wasn't nearly as bad before 2006. Cocaine is probably the illegal drugs that causes this big money fight. And before that, let's not forget the problem was in Colombia and with Escobar, Colombia knocks out the cartels and it goes to Mexico.