Former Mexican President Proposes Legalizing Drugs in Mexico AND the U.S.

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As President Calderon's leadership continues to drive Mexico deeper into the abyss of cyclical drug war violence, his predecessor Vicente Fox is looking for real solutions instead of hollow, tough-guy rhetoric. And it sounds like he found the answer:

Mr. Fox says a thirst for riches propels the street violence. So legalizing drugs — as Holland has done — could have the same effect that ending Prohibition had in the United States in 1933: Removing the incentive for criminals.

But if the domestic market in Mexico collapsed because of legalization, the export market might become even more valuable. Any move toward legalization would work only if done in concert with the United States, Mr. Fox said. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Those are strong words coming from the man who was leading the Mexican drug war just three years ago. Fox knows as well as anyone how powerful prohibition has made the cartels and he's rapidly becoming the nation's loudest voice for reform.

It's almost become a cliche at this point, but the observation that Mexico can’t change the direction of its drug policy without U.S. backing is probably correct. It's awfully hard to just come out and tell the Americans, "Hey, you guys are on your own now. We're not fighting anymore. Good luck locking down your borders and convincing everyone to stop buying drugs." Even if drug sales in Mexico were tightly regulated, the fight over lucrative smuggling routes will continue. You can regulate marijuana sales in Tijuana, but the government can't be arbitrating trade disputes between international drug organizations or issuing permits to dig tunnels under the border.

Nevertheless, the present hopelessness griping the country could form the framework for a massive popular movement to end Mexico's war against the cartels. Everyone already knows the whole mess owes its origins to American drug demand and it may be only a matter of time before a politically significant portion of the Mexican population stops supporting politicians who take drug war orders from the U.S. State Department. The next presidential elections in Mexico will likely bring about the most interesting drug policy dialogue that's ever taken place there.

No one knows what's going to happen next, but I can guarantee you that the current strategy of fighting it out in the streets isn't going to change the game. As hard as it is to imagine a combined U.S. and Mexican withdrawal after decades of aggressive interdiction efforts, it stands to reason that the one viable policy solution will eventually emerge. With leaders like Vicente Fox beginning to speak out, that moment may come sooner than we expect.
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I Will See That and Raise You Canada

Can’t leave out Canada, Sr. Fox.

Not long ago Canada looked like the country that would influence U.S. drug policy for the better.  Now it’s Mexico and South America.

The turnabout is more evidence that the drug war is unhinged and unpredictable.  It’s like it has a life of its own that is beyond the control of any government or combination of legal entities thereof.

As a public policy, prohibition is at best a crap shoot, and the prohibitionist government is a compulsive gambler who has just finished off a triple martini and is convinced that luck is reproducible.

Giordano

Don't Blame Canada

Yes, it is a shame that now that the U.S. seems willing to tolerate or ignore drug policy reform in the hemisphere, we Canucks are saddled with a regressive government. But I fear Mr. Fox is quite right when he says "Any move toward legalization would work only if done in concert with the United States." We activists are often reminded by our opponents that, even if we legalize
cannabis, for example, U.S. demand will still fund our gangs and fuel our clandestine grow-ops.

Matt

fox

fox is a jerk,, he had his chance. calderon is a jerk. bush was a jerk, and ears is a jerk,,, and all names in between.

fox just changed his tune because he no longer reaps the rewards.

and drugs shouldnt be legal, nor illegal, they should be irrelevant...

they should be free to those who need them... that would be the biggest deterrent of all,, and eliminate all profit making from it.

it would take a while,, druggies would be druggies,,, but the incentive to create new ones would be gone...

In response to Fox...

Judging by the thought you have put into your statement which appears to be a sum of zero. I find you to be irrelevant. You have no Idea what you are talking about and are an embarrassment to this forum.

To clarify

"Holland" - which isn't a country, hasn't legalized any drugs.
The Netherlands, which includes South Holland and North Holland, hasn't legalized any drugs either. Cannabis is illegal there. There's a difference between legality and a policy of not prosecuting.

what is decriminalization?

Regardless of what they call it,or how they did it,they also closed 8 or 9 prison facilities this year. That should at least worry the industrialized prison industry stock holders.
It is the continuous number matching that keeps me confused:
A drug cartel leader made the Forbe's List,with 1.4 billion income for 2008. vs The US is allotting 1.4 billion for Mexico's killing of cartels
Marijuana is 70% of the cartels cash flow. vs The ONDCP budget is 70% marijuana interdiction and studies showing harmful effects from marijuana use
Our government had control of the valley,where 80% of the opium crop is grown,and allowed it to be sold to traffickers,to avoid alienating local population
due to economic situations,with the intent to stop the opium before it enters the US. Amount of opium stopped 0% vs We could have purchased the whole crop,put it in a trench,and napalmed it,stopping 80% of the 2009 opium crop,and proving that we are actually 0 tolerance on all drugs,not just marijuana. Amount of opium we should have stopped 80%,,,,amount that has been stopped by the DEA so far,,,unknown.

I am confused,it sounds like we are fighting ourselves.

Spring Break

PS; If they did it every year,they could sell vacation trips around that time of year for the 2010 burn off,,,for inquisitive minds.

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