Mexican President Argues Against Legalizing Marijuana

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Friday, October 08, 2010 at 3:53 pm

The U.S. could face a spat with Mexican government officials over a California ballot measure to legalize marijuana, which Mexican President Felipe Calderón said Thursday shows hypocrisy in U.S. drug policy. The U.S. has urged Mexico to crack down on drug cartels, but also accounts for much of the demand for illegal drugs: The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy has estimated Mexican drug cartels rely on U.S. marijuana sales for about 60 percent of profits. Calderón said California’s Proposition 19 would encourage consumption:

“For me, it reflects a terrible inconsistency in government policies in the United States,” the Mexican leader said late Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press. [...]

Calderon said he was certain that legalizing marijuana will lead to an increase in drug consumption.

“It’s very sad to see how drug consumption is, little by little, tearing apart American society and, if we don’t watch ourselves, it will tear apart ours,” the president said.

Although the U.S. government has attempted to aid the Mexican law enforcement in stopping drug cartels, they continue to be a major problem in the country. More than 28,000 people have been killed in cartel-related violence since Calderón took office in 2006, including 11 Mexican mayors who have been murdered since the beginning of the year. While violence has not spilled over into the U.S., politicians like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) have claimed it could, arguing the threat of violence is a reason the United States needs heightened border security.

However, some argue that legalizing marijuana in California could actually lessen drug cartel violence. Historian Héctor Aguilar Camín and former Mexican foreign minister Jorge G. Castañeda wrote an op-ed last month claiming violence would decrease significantly if both California and Mexico legalized marijuana:

Passage of Prop 19 would therefore flip the terms of the debate about drug policy: If California legalizes marijuana, will it be viable for our country to continue hunting down drug lords in Tijuana? Will Wild West-style shootouts to stop Mexican cannabis from crossing the border make any sense when, just over that border, the local 7-Eleven sells pot? [...]
In addition, legalizing marijuana would free up both human and financial resources for Mexico to push back against the scourges that are often, if not always correctly, attributed to drug traffickers and that constitute Mexicans’ real bane: kidnapping, extortion, vehicle theft, home assaults, highway robbery and gunfights between gangs that leave far too many innocent bystanders dead and wounded. Before Mexico’s current war on drugs started, in late 2006, the country’s crime rate was low and dropping. Freed from the demands of the war on drugs, Mexico could return its energies to again reducing violent crime.

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Jillian
Comment posted October 8, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

Calderon's statement makes no sense. Is he trying to protect the profits of the cartels?!!

Just as the cartels can't compete against legal alcohol sales, they also can't compete against legal marijuana sales. The after-tax marijuana prices able to be set by legal stores will be too low for the cartels to match. Gone will be the bulk of their funding, gone will be the violence they use to protect it.

The “terrible inconsistency” Calderon talks about is fantasy.


Damn Doper
Comment posted October 8, 2010 @ 8:49 pm

Vote no on 19 because it is written so poorly that it will send 18 year old kids to state prison for passing a joint. Hard to believe but read it and you will see that spelled out clearly in the section prohibiting minors from using pot. Fatal Flaw!! No on 19. Pot is not a crime now in California, we have medical and we don't need this badly written law!!


mmyers46
Comment posted October 8, 2010 @ 9:23 pm

The only effect of the passage of Proposition 19 on Mexico will be a reduction in demand for illegally imported marijuana. California doesn't control its border with Mexico. That's a function of the federal government.

I haven't noticed that drug consumption is tearing apart American society. People have always consumed drugs, especially alcohol. This has been integrated into every society we've come across.

Prohibition is tearing apart American society. A huge number of people are in jail for non-violent, victimless crimes. Minorities are arrested and jailed disproportionately to their size and level of drug use, and disenfranchised by felony convictions. Despite its prohibition, the use of marijuana is widespread. The continuation of this senseless prohibition has engendered a general disrespect for the law and law enforcement.


mmyers46
Comment posted October 8, 2010 @ 9:36 pm

California law CURRENTLY prescribes a felony conviction with a jail sentence of 3-7 years for anyone giving marijuana to a minor younger than 14 years old. It's 3-5 years for giving it to a minor 14 years old or older.

Proposition 19 doesn't change that. What it does do is provide a lower level of punishment for anyone over 21 supplying marijuana to persons 18 years old to less than 21 years old.


Tjsands1118
Comment posted October 8, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

“It’s very sad to see how drug consumption is, little by little, tearing apart American society and, if we don’t watch ourselves, it will tear apart ours,” the president said.

Coming from the country that has been illegally supplying drugs to us for decades and with hundred more drug related murders, that means a lot.

Okay guys stop prop 19 the leader of North America's worst country is saying it a bad idea, we better pack up our stuff and go home.

Calderon es tonto.


Me
Comment posted October 8, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

All he is worried about is money getting back to Mexico. If it becomes legal to have and grow the 60% of the drug cartel money will be more like 1%. Look at the bright side mr president you still have the other 40% coming from coke and heroin. Everyone is losing money from the economic recession. Time for the drug cartels to take their pay cut too!


AnnOnaMice
Comment posted October 8, 2010 @ 11:13 pm

Calderon is correct in his worries. Passage of Prop 19 could mean armed, criminal gangs called corporations moving into Mexico to take control of drugs production, and take the profits out of his, and other mexican politicians, police, and military pockets.
Many mexican jobs could just “move north” (cue sucking sound), leaving mexico in possible unrest because of, well, something that isn't causing unrest and thousands of murders as is happening right now.
Because it will still be illegal under US law, american illegal aliens may sneak into mexico to grow marijuana, fouling mexican public and private lands with trash, pesticides, and chemicals.
What's more, Prop 19 will fill the pockets of murderers, criminals, and corrupt politicians…. in the form of taxes.
Stop this madness!


Mrobama
Comment posted October 8, 2010 @ 11:34 pm

What a douchebag. He is jealous and threatened that this will leave his already broke country even more broke. Focus on your own issues and stay out of foreign policy, Guy.

And tearing America apart? Mexico has and will be torn apart for a long time; it's a mess.


Youngboy
Comment posted October 8, 2010 @ 11:36 pm

Go home, kid.


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Rational Voice
Comment posted October 9, 2010 @ 4:12 am

“Mexican President Argues Against Legalizing Marijuana”

Yeah, right … This is BS — No he doesn't. He just has to keep saying that until we the people make the decision for him. He has to keep saying that so the US will keep paying for half of his war.

All politicians are spineless, not just ours. He will be singing an entirely different tune on November 3rd, you just watch.

VOTE YES ON PROP 19


Bareyb
Comment posted October 9, 2010 @ 4:36 am

Not true Doper. Prop 19 has no effect on medical marijuana patients. You still retain all of your rights. But hey, thanks for playing. ;)


Bareyb
Comment posted October 9, 2010 @ 4:41 am

In a single stroke of a pen, Prop 19 will do more to stop the illegal growing of Pot in our national forests than all the Guns, Men, and Helicopters have been able to do.


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Rookie
Comment posted October 9, 2010 @ 11:09 am

What the President of Mexico fails to realize is, The United States Government has gone against the Will of the People with the War on Drugs.

After Many Many years the people are tired of asking for the policy to Change. Now as so many times in the history of this country, the People are Pushing back.

I fear it may get ugly, as I dont expect the Government to accept the will of the people should prop 19 pass.

It may be time for the People to unite and really push back.


malcolmkyle
Comment posted October 9, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

Here are some facts concerning the situation in Holland. –Please save a copy and use it as a reference when debating prohibitionists who claim the exact opposite concerning reality as presented here below:

”Cannabis coffee shops” are not only restricted to the Capital of Holland, Amsterdam. They can be found in more than 50 cities and towns across the country. At present, only the retail sale of five grams is tolerated, so production remains criminalized. The mayors of a majority of the cities with coffeeshops have long urged the national government to also decriminalize the supply side.

A poll taken earlier this year indicated that some 50% of the Dutch population thinks cannabis should be fully legalized while only 25% wanted a complete ban. Even though 62% of the voters said they had never taken cannabis. An earlier poll also indicated 80% opposing coffee shop closures.
http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2010/02/public_split_on_cannabis_legal.php

It is true that the number of coffee shops has fallen from its peak of around 2,500 throughout the country to around 700 now. The problems, if any, concern mostly “drug tourists” and are largely confined to cities and small towns near the borders with Germany and Belgium. These problems, mostly involve traffic jams, and are the result of cannabis prohibition in neighboring countries. “Public nuisance problems” with the coffee shops are minimal when compared with bars, as is demonstrated by the rarity of calls for the police for problems at coffee shops.

While it is true that lifetime and “past-month” use rates did increase back in the seventies and eighties, the critics shamefully fail to report that there were comparable and larger increases in cannabis use in most, if not all, neighboring countries which continued complete prohibition.

According to the World Health Organization only 19.8 percent of the Dutch have used marijuana, less than half the U.S. figure.
In Holland 9.7% of young adults (aged 15–24) consume soft drugs once a month, comparable to the level in Italy (10.9%) and Germany (9.9%) and less than in the UK (15.8%) and Spain (16.4%). Few transcend to becoming problem drug users (0.44%), well below the average (0.52%) of the compared countries.

The WHO survey of 17 countries finds that the United States has the highest usage rates for nearly all illegal substances.

In the U.S. 42.4 percent admitted having used marijuana. The only other nation that came close was New Zealand, another bastion of get-tough policies, at 41.9 percent. No one else was even close. The results for cocaine use were similar, with the U.S. again leading the world by a large margin.

Even more striking is what the researchers found when they asked young adults when they had started using marijuana. Again, the U.S. led the world, with 20.2 percent trying marijuana by age 15. No other country was even close, and in Holland, just 7 percent used marijuana by 15 — roughly one-third of the U.S. figure.
thttp://www.alternet.org/drugs/90295/

In 1998, the US Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey claimed that the U.S. had less than half the murder rate of the Netherlands. “That’s drugs,” he explained. The Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics immediately issued a special press release explaining that the actual Dutch murder rate is 1.8 per 100,000 people, or less than one-quarter the U.S. murder rate.

Here’s a very recent article by a psychiatrist from Amsterdam, exposing “Drug Czar misinformation”
http://tinyurl.com/247a8mp

Now let's look at a comparative analysis of the levels of cannabis use in two cities: Amsterdam and San Francisco, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health May 2004,

The San Francisco prevalence survey showed that 39.2% of the population had used cannabis. This is 3 times the prevalence found in the Amsterdam sample

Source: Craig Reinarman, Peter D.A. Cohen and Hendrien L. Kaal, “The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy”
http://www.mapinc.org/lib/limited.pdf

Moreover, 51% of people who had smoked cannabis in San Francisco reported that they were offered heroin, cocaine or amphetamine the last time they purchased cannabis. In contrast, only 15% of Amsterdam residents who had ingested marijuana reported the same conditions. Prohibition is the ‘Gateway Policy’ that forces cannabis seekers to buy from criminals who gladly expose them to harder drugs.

The indicators of death, disease and corruption are even much better in the Netherlands than in Sweden for instance, a country praised by UNODC for its “successful” drug policy.”

Here's Antonio Maria Costa doing his level best to avoid discussing the success of Dutch drug policy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lExNjEhdSkY&feature=related

The Netherlands also provides heroin on prescription under tight regulation to about 1500 long-term heroin addicts for whom methadone maintenance treatment has failed.
http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/free-heroin-brings-everyone-a-bit-peace

The Dutch justice ministry announced, last year, the closure of eight prisons and cut 1,200 jobs in the prison system. A decline in crime has left many cells empty. There's simply not enough criminals
http://www.nrc.nl/international/article2246821.ece/Netherlands_to_close_prisons_for_lack_of_criminals

For further information, kindly check out this very informative FAQ provided by Radio Netherlands: http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/faq-soft-drugs-netherlands
or go to this page: http://www.rnw.nl/english/dossier/Soft-drugs


malcolmkyle
Comment posted October 9, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

If there's still anybody out there who doubts the CIA's involvement in drug-running then they should watch “Mike Ruppert – CIA and Drug Running (1997)”
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7009998324250484369#

And if you really want to know how deep prohibition engendered corruption runs in America? Then watch the following:
Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKHpVw4yTb4

or check this out : http://www.ciadrugs.com/

Prohibition is a sickening horror and the ocean of hypocrisy, incompetence, corruption and human wreckage it has left in its wake is almost endless.

Prohibition has decimated generations and criminalized millions for a behavior which is entwined in human existence, and for what other purpose than to uphold the defunct and corrupt thinking of a minority of misguided, self-righteous Neo-Puritans and degenerate demagogues who wish nothing but unadulterated destruction on the rest of us.

Based on the unalterable proviso that drug use, among all echelons of society, is essentially an unstoppable and ongoing human behavior which has been with us since the dawn of time, any serious reading on the subject of past attempts at any form of drug prohibition would point most normal thinking people in the direction of sensible regulation.

By its very nature, prohibition cannot fail but create a vast increase in criminal activity, and rather than preventing society from descending into anarchy, it actually fosters an anarchic business model – the international Drug Trade. Any decisions concerning quality, quantity, distribution and availability are then left in the hands of unregulated, anonymous and ruthless drug dealers, who are interested only in the huge profits involved. Thus the allure of this reliable and lucrative industry with it's enormous income potential that consistently outweighs the risks associated with the illegal operations that such a trade entails, will remain with us until we are collectively forced to admit the obvious.

There is therefore an irrefutable connection between drug prohibition and the crime, corruption, disease and death it causes. Anybody 'halfway bright', and who's not psychologically challenged, should be capable of understanding that it is not simply the demand for drugs that creates the mayhem, it is our refusal to allow legal businesses to meet that demand. If you are not capable of understanding this connection then maybe you're using something far stronger than the rest of us. So put away your pipe, lock yourself away in a small room with some tinned soup and water, and try to crawl back into reality A.S.A.P.

Because Drug cartels will always have an endless supply of ready cash for wages, bribery and equipment, no amount of tax money, police powers, weaponry, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safe again. Only an end to prohibition can do that! How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution?

If you support the Kool-Aid mass suicide cult of prohibition, and erroneously believe that you can win a war without logic and practical solutions, then prepare yourself for even more death, tortured corpses, corruption, terrorism, sickness, imprisonment, economic tribulation, unemployment and the complete loss of the rule of law.

“A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.”
Abraham Lincoln

The only thing prohibition successfully does is prohibit regulation & taxation while turning even our schools and prisons into black markets for drugs. Regulation would mean the opposite!


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ZZardozz
Comment posted October 10, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

Yes,, we don't want the Mexican schwag. All that drug money brings US Dollars into Mexico, where it benefits the local population. Let's stop doing that. Keep all the money in California, Make it here, sell it here, consume it here, pay taxes on it here. There will be no point for them to bring it here after awhile. Of course, they can still make the big bucks in the other 49 prohibitionist states.


Themuse
Comment posted October 10, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

Calderon is just a dirty mexican. I stay out of his dirty country he can shut the F up and stay out of mine. I dont care what he thinks about my countries opinions as he doesnt care what we think about his. He needs to be focused on sqashing the cartel threat with an iron fist instead of waving it at our policies. Take notice to the fact that any 'good' politician in Mexico has been killed swiftly by the cartels yet Calderon still lives… hmm, something fishy about a Mexican politician thats still alive yet claims to be fighting the cartels with all his might. Calderon is a hub for cartels and the sooner everyone realizes that the better. Vote yes on prop 19 and vote no on that dirty pos Calderon.


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Comment posted October 31, 2010 @ 3:53 am

Of course he is upset. His drug cartels won't be bringing back as much money into his country.


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