Vicente Fox, the Former President of Mexico – and one of my all time favorite politicians/global leaders – has been on the speaking circuit urging a reversal of cannabis prohibition in Mexico and the United States. In the attached video, Fox makes a compelling argument for why cannabis prohibition has failed and how changing this could positively impact the U.S. and Mexico economies and reduce violence.
Since the early 1990’s I have followed closely the Mexican economy, politics and culture. Much of my graduate work was focused on agricultural trade with Mexico. After graduation, I spent several months there learning the language and traveling around the country. While I bleed red, white and blue and get teary-eyed at the sound of the Star Spangled Banner, I also love Mexico.
When I joined the working world, I landed a private industry job that had me working closely with the Consulate of Mexico in Houston helping develop trade relationships between businesses in Texas and Mexico. This work led me to travel in some fairly interesting circles which resulted in meeting then Governor Fox and later President Fox. He is impressive, dynamic and a powerful force for change for whatever he deems a priority. Among his many positive traits, I most admire his resolve to speak openly about difficult and often controversial topics. As you can see in this video he does so with grace and eloquence.
Thank you to High Times Magazine for this excellent video
President Fox has declared that his highest post-presidential priority is to reduce violence in Mexico. He believes that ending U.S. and Mexican cannabis prohibition would do that. He says that “the war on drugs [began] by President Nixon over 40 years ago has been a total failure.” He continues to say that the policies set forth by Mexico’s former President Calderon did nothing to reduce the killing, crime or usage of cannabis. “Every day an additional 40 kids being are killed. This has to be stopped. We need to get out of the idea and paradigm that prohibitions works and the paradigm that violence defeats violence,” said Fox. He views current American and Mexican drug policy as totally mistaken and wants to help lead the effort to find new and better solutions.
Cannabis Prohibition Creates a Black Market Economy
He estimates that $50 billion USD are generated on the U.S. black market by the Mexican cartels and then taken back to Mexico to fuel the violence. While cannabis is not the cartel’s only business, it is an important part of their business. Legalizing cannabis would create a shift in the U.S. economy turning a significant portion of that $50 billion cartel income from criminal activity to legitimate businesses generating important tax revenue at the local, state and federal level while increasing the safety for people who choose to purchase cannabis and reducing drug related violence.
Regulation not Cannabis Prohibition
Mr. Fox advocates moving from cannabis prohibition to regulation. His strategy also includes funding for medical research medical. He says, “not only God created us free, the founding fathers of this nation are committed to freedom but at the same time with the idea that governments do not have the right to intervene in my consciousness, to intervene in my behavior, to intervene in my decisions unless I affect a third party. Then, the states and government have the right to intervene. But if not, it shouldn’t happen. So again, ethical and moral reasons sustain the idea of moving up prohibition and start working on the road of information and regulation.”
My years of work in U.S./Mexico trade taught me that our economies and cultures are inextricably linked. Cannabis prohibition and violence go hand and hand. An enormous opportunity to reduce violence and stimulate the North American economy exists if the U.S. and Mexico can work together to create thoughtful cannabis policy.
This blog is written by Nishi Whiteley. Nishi is a business development and marketing consultant and a cannabis advocate. Please visit www.MyChronicRelief.com for more information about medical cannabis.