Former Mexican president leans toward legalization of drugs
Former president of Mexico, Vicente Fox, said that he is in favor of a legalization of drugs to prevent more murders in Mexico.
In a lecture at the University of Houston on Tuesday, Fox said that Mexico is in the middle of the drug problem because the drugs are imported from South America to Mexico and then they are then transported to the United States, which is the number one consumer of drugs in the world.
He also disagrees with the current strategy used by President Felipe Calderón to fight drugs, which focuses on trying to cut the supply instead of the demand.
“We have to think about the possibility of legalizing it or decriminalize the consumption of drugs,” Fox said in an auditorium with more than 400 people.
Fox also commented that if the demand problem is attacked through educating the population, the results could be better. He cited Portugal and its decision to legalize drugs and said that the consumption did not increase, and the black market disappeared.
The Mexican army should not be fighting the cartels, Fox also said, because they are not prepared to do police work.
The former president also commented on immigration and the United States. He called on President Barack Obama to keep his word of passing immigration reform in the country.
“It seems to me that one thinks that building walls will solve the problems of our nation,” Fox said. “Instead of building walls, we should be building bridges—bridges of understanding, bridges of strong friendship and relationship, bridges of exchange of technology, bridges of respect of our own people.”
He added that it would be a terrible mistake if Texas passed a law similar to the SB1070 law that Arizona passed, which was stopped by a federal judge before it went into effect.
Fox also touched on NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which involves Mexico, the United States and Canada, saying that it has worked for all three nations.
“It’s been very profitable. It’s been good for the three of us to work as partners,” Fox said.
He added that NAFTA has created thousands of jobs, perhaps millions in the United States, because of the agreement. However, he said that to be able to compete against Asia and build a good future, they must continue to work together.
“We all depend from each other today,” Fox said. “That’s why NAFTA has become so critical and so important for the future of North America.”
Fox called on UH students in regards to having “the privilege of being in one of the best universities in the world.”
Since only 22 percent of the Latin American youths are able to attend college, he said students should be thinking about the future to make sure that the other 78 percent of Latin Americans have better opportunities.
“It should be your purpose coming out of here to make sure that you are going to be opening up opportunities for them,” Fox said.
Marta Sahagún, the wife of the former president, was also present at the lecture.