Former Mexican President Fox Urges Legalization

Jul 10, 2013

For­mer Mex­i­can Pres­i­dent Vicente Fox took his cru­sade to legal­ize mar­i­juana to San Fran­cisco on Mon­day, join­ing pot advo­cates to urge the United States and his own coun­try to decrim­i­nal­ize the sale and recre­ational use of cannabis. Fox met for three hours with the advo­cates, includ­ing Steve DeAn­gelo, the Oakland-based exec­u­tive direc­tor of California’s largest mar­i­juana dis­pen­sary, and for­mer Microsoft exec­u­tive Jamen Shiv­ely, who hopes to cre­ate a Seattle-based pot brand now that Wash­ing­ton state has legal­ized recre­ational use. Legal­iza­tion, Fox told reporters after the meet­ing, is the only way to end the vio­lence of Mex­i­can drug car­tels, which he blamed on America’s war on drugs. “The cost of the war is becom­ing unbear­able – too high for Mex­ico, for Latin Amer­ica and for the rest of the world,” Fox said in Eng­lish. Every day, he said, 40 young peo­ple are killed in drug-related vio­lence. Fox’s posi­tion on legal­iz­ing drugs has evolved over time since the days when he coop­er­ated with U.S. efforts to tamp down pro­duc­tion in Mex­ico dur­ing his 2000–2006 pres­i­den­tial term. He has been increas­ingly vocal in his oppo­si­tion to cur­rent poli­cies, back­ing two prior efforts to legal­ize mar­i­juana in Mex­ico. Mexico’s cur­rent pres­i­dent, Enrique Peña Nieto, has opposed legal­iza­tion. But he recently said that he would con­sider world opin­ion on the mat­ter, par­tic­u­larly in light of recent voter-approved ini­tia­tives to legal­ize mar­i­juana in Wash­ing­ton state and Col­orado for recre­ational use. In San Fran­cisco on Mon­day, Fox said he had signed on to attend and help develop an inter­na­tional sum­mit later this month in Mex­ico to strate­gize a path to end mar­i­juana pro­hi­bi­tion. Par­tic­i­pants sched­uled to attend the three-day meet­ing start­ing July 18 in San Cristo­bal include an Amer­i­can sur­geon, the dean of Harvard’s School of Pub­lic Health and a Mex­i­can con­gress­man who plans to intro­duce a bill to legal­ize mar­i­juana in Mex­ico this sum­mer, Fox said. The bill, which he expects to be intro­duced by Mex­i­can law­maker Fer­nando Belaun­zaran, would legal­ize adult recre­ational use of mar­i­juana, Fox said. Sup­port for legal­iz­ing mar­i­juana in the United States has been grow­ing. Nine­teen states and the Dis­trict of Colum­bia have passed med­ical mar­i­juana laws, accord­ing to the pro-legalization National Orga­ni­za­tion for the Reform of Mar­i­juana Laws. But the drug remains ille­gal under fed­eral law. Lift­ing the pro­hi­bi­tion on cannabis in Mex­ico, how­ever, appears to face more of an uphill bat­tle. Mex­i­can law­mak­ers have rejected pre­vi­ous legal­iza­tion efforts and polls have shown lit­tle pop­u­lar sup­port for the idea. But Fox promised to wage what he said was a nec­es­sary bat­tle. “We can­not afford more blood and the loss of more young peo­ple,” Fox said. “We must get out of the trap we are in.” Edit­ing by Sharon Bern­stein and Eric Walsh Source: Reuters (Wire) Author: Ron­nie Cohen Pub­lished: July 8, 2013 Copy­right: 2013 Thom­son Reuters

2bd96ec8a2re fox.png 150x81 Former Mexican President Fox Urges Legalization

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For­mer Mex­i­can Pres­i­dent Fox Urges Legalization

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