Breaking News:ALERT: House of Representatives Voting on MORE Act This Week!

Video: Former Mexican President Says Time to Legalize Drugs

Video from October 18 Cato Institute forum featuring former President of Mexico Vicente Fox (Cato's Ian Vasquez moderating):

Hint to politicians and the media: When people with that kind of stature bring up an issue over and over, that means it's important.
Washington, DC
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!
Gart's picture

The Fox and the Mammoth


I have to say, I wholeheartedly share Fox’s analysis. There are two things, however, that might be worth considering. On the one hand, it is still a mystery to me why Fox did not join (or was not invited to join?) neither the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, nor the Global Commission on Drug Policy, considering that Fox was expressing similar opinions well before they had published their respective reports. It is interesting to note, too, that in a similar fashion to the Latin American ex-presidents that signed both reports, Fox didn’t oppose the US drug policy while in power, either. I supposed, that’s Realpolitiks for you. (As it is always the case in politics, more daring alternative explanations have been intimated…who knows) Whatever the case, his vocal demands are most welcome.

The second thing to consider is whether Fox’s stance on drugs is guided by ulterior political motives, for although I share the questions raised by Fox regarding the current situation in Mexico, he gives no credit to recent declarations given by the current president, Felipe Calderón, both in Mexico and in the US.

Even though Calderón had in the past expressed reservations about drug legalisation, he has somewhat somehow changed his tune and he now shows a more favourable position regarding legalisation — admittedly, for political and strategic reasons, he uses “market alternatives”, but the implication is obvious. This is what he said recently:

«Consumer countries are morally obliged to reduce their vast economic demand. If you can’t cut it, cut the economic profits. You have to find how to staunch this demand. Seek out all possible options, including market alternatives, so that drugs trafficking ceases to be a source of violence in Latin America…»

I do believe that now is a golden opportunity for drug producing countries to unite around a common purpose: to put an end to Prohibition and the War on Drugs. It is time that Latin America give their unconditional support to Felipe Calderón’s call for Legalisation & Regulation to solve the so-called drug problem.

There is no doubt that rejecting or opposing Prohibition and the War on Drugs might carry huge costs in term of retaliations by the “international community”, i.e. by the US, the largest consumer of drugs in the world and the most belligerent war on drugs warrior. What we should always keep in mind is that no price can be higher than the one drug producing countries have already paid and will continue to pay as long as this insane and irrational regime remains in place.

Gart Valenc

Gart's picture

A real tour the force

The video is 70 min. long, but anybody interested in the legalisation issue, be it in favour or against, ought to listen to it in full. Q&A start around the 37min. mark.

Gart Valenc


It is great to see a former president to come out and speak about drug legalization, but it is too bad that he decided to do that AFTER he left the office.  I just think that presidents and politicians around the world need to grow some "cojones" and speak up, speak the truth about drugs.  People have used drugs for ages in the past, and will continue to use them forever and it is just wrong and inhumane to punish people for doing something which isn't that bad, and which isn't hurting other people.  For gods sake, drugs come from nature/plants!  How can anyone declare nature to be illegal?  Are you mightier than god to outlaw nature?  The "war on drugs" is just crazy when you really think about it.  We need to take our lives back!  Really, how free are you when you dont even have control of what to put inside your body? 

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <b>

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School