Vicente Fox: Let’s legalize drugs

Well, this is unexpected: Former Mexican President Vicente Fox has come out in favor of legalizing drugs in an attempt to disrupt the illegal markets that have turned parts of Mexico into battlegrounds. […] While Fox advocates weakening the cartels by legalizing their market, Calderon has launched an offensive against the drug cartels that has ...

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images
Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images
Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

Well, this is unexpected:

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox has come out in favor of legalizing drugs in an attempt to disrupt the illegal markets that have turned parts of Mexico into battlegrounds.

[...]

Well, this is unexpected:

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox has come out in favor of legalizing drugs in an attempt to disrupt the illegal markets that have turned parts of Mexico into battlegrounds.

[…]

While Fox advocates weakening the cartels by legalizing their market, Calderon has launched an offensive against the drug cartels that has resulted in headline-grabbing drug-related violence in some parts of Mexico. According to the government, more than 28,000 people have been killed in the drug war since Calderon took office in 2006.

Fox’s policy prescription is a curious twist on suggestions for demand-side drug control. Legalizing drugs in Mexico is probably the next closest thing to actually cutting hunger for narcotics in the United States itself; after all, when the narco-traffickers don’t need to spend so much blood and treasure resisting the government — and when los federales no longer face being corrupted from the inside out — violence might conceivably subside. Legalization wouldn’t solve everything, however — inter-gang warfare would still continue, and drugs would probably get cheaper as the need for bribery and trail-covering middlemen evaporated.

As an aside, it’s worth adding that although CNN gives the Calderon administration much of the credit/blame for the ongoing Mexican narcotics offensive, recall that it was Fox who began using the military as an anti-drug instrument in 2005.

Brian Fung is an editorial researcher at FP.

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