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July 2012
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Open to the discussion

Mexico’s President-Elect: Legalization Should Be Part of Drug Strategy Debate

MEXICO CITY | The president-elect of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, said Tuesday Mexico should have a debate about legalizing and regulating the sale of drugs here, an approach advocated by some other Latin American leaders to take marijuana sale profits out of the hands of the drug cartels.

While insisting he was not in favor of legalizing drugs himself, he said, “I’m in favor of opening a new debate in the strategy in the way we fight drug trafficking. It is quite clear that after several years of this fight against drug trafficking, we have more drug consumption, drug use and drug trafficking. That means we are not moving in the right direction. Things are not working.”

“I’m not saying we should legalize,” he repeated. “But we should debate in Congress, in the hemisphere and especially the U.S. should participate in this broad debate.”

“So let the debate begin, but you’re not taking a position yet?” I asked.

“That’s right,” he said.

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17 comments to Open to the discussion

  • Mark Entry

    The war on cannabis users is coming apart at the seems, and fast. Democrat lead US Congresses created every federal drug prohibition since 1917. But, the GOP is taking the blame due to Nixon. Now, Democrat politicians are embracing cannabis legalization since Beto O’Rourke was elected over a long term incumbent drug warrior. Democrats know that 60% of American voters want cannabis re-legalized. The GOP only joined the Democrat prohibitionist bandwagon to get votes for being ‘tough on crime’, too. The GOP should burn the Democrats for creating this disaster & embrace cannabis legalization faster than Democrats to defeat their stealth campaign issue they hope to use to steal what should otherwise be GOP landslide victories. It’s getting interesting. Around the world, cannabis prohibition is coming down like the house of cards it really is.

  • Dante

    The PRI gets it – the war on drugs cost them the previous election(s).

    Why can’t American politicians get it, too?

    Oh, yeah … Because “there’s too much money in it”.

  • claygooding

    Reform is moving at a much rapider pace than before but the same corporations that had hemp taken off the market are bigger than ever and depend on hemp remaining inhibited to continue selling their products,,such as synthetic cloths developed in an effort to replace cannabis fiber canvas,,even today there are applications where canvas works better and lasts longer than most of them.

    Imagine Levis made from heavy hemp canvas,,as they were invented,,some of the longest lasting,toughest work pants capable of getting wet over and over and still last.

  • TINMA

    Clay, I would love to have some of those kind of jeans. The ones we get today rip out to damned easy.

    • Windy

      Levi Strauss moved their factories to Mexico and ever since the quality has diminished greatly, one cannot even count on the size the garment is labeled with as being correct. My hubby has worn Levis his whole life, for the past 50 years they’ve been the 517 model (boot cut), I used to be able to order them and know they’d fit; no longer, now hubby has to actually accompany me to the store and try them on to make certain they fit correctly and that they are not cut on the wrong bias. They also wear out far more quickly, I used to be able to count on them lasting at least 5 years with his job as a truck driver and our off the job lifestyle of spending a whole lot of time on horseback, now I feel lucky if they last 2 years and he’s retired and we don’t have horses now.

  • With the most recent studies just piling up the information about the value of marijuana and its lack of dangerousness I think the debate should already be over. We need some solid acknowledgement from the Government about how marijuana is NOT so dangerous.

    The Government itself is starting to look foolish in light of all the recent findings and the increase in public knowledge about them. Things will change now. I think its going to be a matter of: by who? After 80 years I am getting a bit antsy.

  • Francis

    My first reaction to this was somewhat dismissive. It reminded me of Obama’s “I think it’s entirely legitimate to have a conversation [about legalization]” condescension. But there’s a difference between being forced to admit that a debate is legitimate and actively calling for that debate. I think this could be a pretty significant “thud.” As I’ve said before, the reason the drug warriors have been as successful as they have at perpetuating the farce of prohibition is because they’ve been able to avoid a real debate for decades. They did so by pretending that there was no debate. Criminal prohibition of “drugs” was simply “common sense” and something that all “right-thinking people” supported. Legalization was successfully portrayed as “unthinkable” and “extreme” — to self-perpetuating effect. But for the last several years, the Internet has been steadily eroding the establishment’s power to control the boundaries of what constitutes “acceptable opinion.” The Overton window has shifted considerably. And the debate that has (until recently) been waged almost exclusively on the Internet can no longer be contained. It’s increasingly spilling out into the mainstream media and political establishment. That’s pretty much game over for the drug warriors, because it’s a debate that they CANNOT win.

    • claygooding

      But damn them to hell for all the damage they will/can do on their way out!!!

      With Mexico reducing violence through reduction in direct conflicts with the cartels not committing violence against random innocents,,the drug warriors will now have to ask for more funding for the influx of more drugs at cheaper prices and the 25 billion asked for in the budget is already short because of Bogota and other countries dropping from the wosd,,,it is going to be interesting to see which social services congress will cut to provide them with those funds.

      As Kapt has said,,the dance is over and now the fiddler is demanding payment,,,but the cupboard is bare.

  • Servetus

    If President Nieto is looking for harm reduction ideas, there are always many better ways to protect and serve…

    “…the German state of Schleswig-Holstein is reportedly considering a quality control test for illegal substances….”, cannabis, in this case. The SDP is the advocate for the new regulations.

    http://www.thelocal.de/society/20120704-43547.html

    The Dutch have (or had) a drug safety or purity testing program in place for MDMA tablets for years.

    Drug purity testing is an important aspect of the harm reduction approach. An informal testing program needs to be emphasized in both Mexico and the United States as a stopgap measure until current black market, illicit or quasi-legal substances are made fully legal and regulated.

  • Cliff

    The prohibitionists have taken all the middle ground that most rational people used to occupy. So, if you’re in favor of a rational, responsible debate regarding the re-legalization and regulation of certain drugs, then you are automatically assumed to be a dope fiend and deserve no quarter or succor. There is no middle ground anymore. Put on your asbestos overalls folks, ’cause it’s fixin’ to get really hot.

  • Byddaf yn egluro:

    “Put on your asbestos overalls folks, ’cause it’s fixin’ to get really hot.”

    Better make sure they’re also ‘liquid-cooled’!

    http://tinyurl.com/7gupblg

  • B. Snow

    “I’m not saying we should legalize,” he repeated. “But we should debate in Congress, in the hemisphere and especially the U.S. should participate in this broad debate.”

    “So let the debate begin, but you’re not taking a position yet?” I asked.

    “That’s right,” he said.”

    So, I’m guessing this means he’s waiting to see which side will write him the biggest check and/or “fork over” =(truck-over) – the most of cash…
    AND, I’d betting he’ll be taking money from both sides for awhile before he develops “a position”… And I hope we give him most of the drug war budget & then quickly double crosses the drug warriors, and favors legalization!

  • B. Snow

    “While saying he wants to intensify cooperation with the U.S. government on many fronts, he sent one strong zinger Washington’s way. The issue: the Obama administration’s failure to do anything major to stop the flood of U.S.-made assault weapons that have wreaked such deadly havoc in Mexico. “We have been insisting on getting the U.S. more involved in fighting arms control. Unfortunately, it has had no impact.”

    It’s a message current Mexican President Felipe Calderon has been harping on. It seems clear President Obama is going to hear it from Mexico’s new president as well.”/

    So, I wonder how fast the Republican NRA groups will be to ‘roll-over on the drug warriors’?

    As a persona who’s be derisively called a [(dirty stinking) “liberal”)] on numerous occasions = I’m totally against “gun control”…

    Nope – I’m in favor of a little known concept it’s called -get this- “murder/assault control”.

    WEIRD huh? I know – I get that a lot. Must be part of being a from Texas, heck I don’t even own any guns. BUT, I still want the right to go out and buy as many as I can buy and/or put on credit – tomorrow, or whenever I feel the want/need/desire to do so!
    I’ve had my eyes on a couple real beauties for awhile now.

    • B. Snow

      Oops, = html typo on my part -> the top part was supposed to be blockquoted not my question/comment regarding the quoted bit.

  • Whatever happened to those bold few from Central America who talked about changing the direction of the drug war within their own countries? After the Summit of the Americas they are silent. Has American money borrowed from China once again paved the way for the prohibitionists?