Vicente Fox on California legalizing pot: “May God let it pass”

Vicente Fox on California legalizing pot: “May God let it pass”

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox — not exactly someone you’re likely to see at a Phish concert– has thrown his full support behind California’s Proposition 19:

“How great it would be for California to set this example. May God let it pass,” Fox told the W radio network in Mexico. “The other U.S. states will have to follow step.”

If California legalizes marijuana, it may help Mexican peasant farmers, and boost Mexico’s exports, he added.

Such a move would be “a step toward saying to the peasant, ‘You can grow marijuana legally and export it,’ ” Fox said.

For the record, importing marijuana from Mexico will still be illegal under California law even if Prop. 19 passes, but Fox’s statement is still fairly remarkable in that he’s treating marijuana not as a social ill that could be better addressed by other means, but as a social good whose cultivation should be encouraged. 

Fox’s statement directly contradicts his successor, Felipe Calderon, who earlier this week joined with other Latin American leaders in opposing the initiative, saying it reflects a "terrible inconsistency" in U.S. drug policy. 

In general, decliminalization seems to be a far more popular position for former Latin American leaders than current ones. 

Last week, I spoke with Russian drug czar Viktor Ivanov, who has been actively campaigning against legalization.