Monterrey, Mexico's most affluent and stylish city, has become a place with firefights on its streets and grenades lobbed onto its public highways.

And a quick scan of yesterday's posts on Blog del Narco gives us: 12 killed by gunfire and grenades in Tampico; an executed man found at a dump identified ("loosening of the skin in front of his body, suggested to the authorities that he was dragged before he was executed with two bullets in the head"); three found decapitated (with their heads in coolers) by a riverside in the tiny town of El Pozo, along with a note threatening to kill more; six dead in Tijuana (which the president of Mexico calls "a success" in the drug war), two beheaded and hung from a bridge; a grenade lobbed into the home of the mayor of Sabinas Hidalgo (pop 32,000); and that firefight in Monterrey.

And that was just yesterday—executions, decapitations, naked bodies hung from bridges, public firefights. In small towns like El Pozo, medium towns like Sabinas Hidalgo, and big towns like Monterrey.

And for those of you claiming that (and wondering whether) pot is the issue... it's impossible to know, even though the feds say that marijuana is the culprit. As a RAND study recently noted:

“Existing estimates about drug production and consumption are cryptic, inconsistent, and often impossible to verify,” stated the RAND Corporation, in a paper studying the effects of legalization of cannabis in California via Proposition 19.

... RAND says even basic observations don't jive, like recent news from the State Department saying Mexican marijuana production is up 200 percent over the previous decades, even though U.S prevalence rates were absolutely flat.

“Seizures didn't go up in any consistent way. You can't reconcile the data and yet the State Department continues to report these figures without any effort reconcile them with anything else.”