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Monday, October 11, 2010

The President of Mexico Opposes California's Prop 19... Because He Likes the Drug War Just the Way It Is?

Posted by on Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 4:43 PM

I missed this nugget in the LA Times a couple of days ago:

Mexican President Felipe Calderon strongly opposes the California ballot measure that would legalize small amounts of marijuana, saying it reflects softening attitudes toward drug consumption in the U.S. that are undercutting efforts to control organized crime groups in Mexico.

And then:

Calderon, in an interview in Tijuana, said he was disappointed that the U.S. federal government, which for years has pushed Mexico to crack down on drug traffickers, has not done more to oppose the measure. "I think they have very little moral authority to condemn Mexican farmers who out of hunger are planting marijuana to feed the insatiable [U.S.] appetite for drugs," he said Thursday.


So which way do you want it, Calderon? You recognize that basic facts of the case—supply, demand, drug-enjoying American customers, poor farmers who can give their northern neighbors what they want. So legalization makes all the sense in the world, right?

But you're so fond of US drug-war subsidies and the Plan Mexico cash, that you can't stand the idea of legalization? Is that the problem? You actually prefer all the grenades, decapitations, and gun battles?

Is that what you're trying to tell us?

Old Vicente Fox has the right idea:

Calderon's predecessor, Vicente Fox, has made headlines by calling for legalization and regulation of all drugs as the best way to cripple the drug cartels economically. Fox recently said passage of Proposition 19 would be a "great step forward" and could "open the door to these ideas for us."

But then again, he wasn't running the country when the Plan Mexico dough came through. Maybe his calls for legalization are just sour grapes...

Or maybe he's just got the right idea.


Comments (18) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
It's easier to run on a fake Tough On Crime platform if you have a drummed up fake War on Drugs to rail against while you accept the behind the scenes kickbacks for your candidates in the lower house.

Remember, Mexico is what the Republicans would turn America into - a narco-state where the ultra rich treat virtually 99.9 per cent of the citizens as their servants.
Posted by Will in Seattle on October 11, 2010 at 4:47 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 2
Maybe somebody should tell this fuckwit not to criticize other countries until his own house is in order.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on October 11, 2010 at 4:57 PM · Report this
Are you addressing me? Or Calderon? Either way, our problems are inseparable...
Posted by Brendan Kiley on October 11, 2010 at 5:02 PM · Report this
@2, exactly - we've been modeling respectful behavior to Mexico and its voters for a hundred years now.
Posted by gloomy gus on October 11, 2010 at 5:03 PM · Report this
Dougsf 5
Seriously, who's buying Mexican weed in the states? People pretend to be able to distinguish between Belvedere and Gray Goose, so it wouldn't surprise me if half the people I knew weren't smoking the organic Mendicino mom & pop weed they thought they were, but I just can't believe that's that case.

Maybe it all goes to the South West?
Posted by Dougsf on October 11, 2010 at 5:09 PM · Report this
Legalizing it will pop the Mexican drug bubble in no time flat.

Crooks want it to be illegal, because they can get higher margins.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on October 11, 2010 at 5:19 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
@4 we have?
Posted by Will in Seattle on October 11, 2010 at 5:33 PM · Report this
OuterCow 8
The man in the big chair hardly ever has the cajones to upset the balance of power, they know what happened to JFK.

But seriously, Calderon knows he'd get shot by his own team.
Posted by OuterCow on October 11, 2010 at 5:35 PM · Report this
@7, sorry I forgot to tag that for ya. /sarcasm
Posted by gloomy gus on October 11, 2010 at 5:40 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 10
np, gg.

hey, how come stm is so mad at me?
Posted by Will in Seattle on October 11, 2010 at 5:53 PM · Report this
Fnarf 11
Most of the bigtime growers, in Cal as well as Mexico, oppose legalization. They like things just the way they are, where everyone, including the dispensaries, has to buy from them.
Posted by Fnarf on October 11, 2010 at 7:47 PM · Report this
Fistique 12
Calderon seems consistent in those two quotes; he just wants demand from the US side to decrease drastically. And, you know, if he or anyone had some idea of how to effect a massive reduction in demand, and could carry it out, that would be great. It just doesn't seem like anyone's been able to do that successfully.
Posted by Fistique on October 12, 2010 at 1:22 AM · Report this
In the United States, we have an excellent model of what legalization would do: Prohibition. Passage of the 18th Amendment opened the door for powerful criminal syndicates to move in; their turf wars make the Mexican drug wars seem downright gentlemanly. The 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition, brought much of that to an end: because demand could be satisfied legally, there was no more profitability in being an illegal supply.

I expect the *real* reason Calderon opposes legalization is that he is a Prohibition Era mayor, receiving fat kick-backs and bribes from the cartels making money off the War On Drugs.
Posted by TechBear on October 12, 2010 at 6:22 AM · Report this
To some extent though he's right. "Legalization" in CA doesn't do shit to help the situation. Saying people can buy and sell "small amounts" of pot in CA creates a large market without making a large supply available because the feds will still shut down the large suppliers so CA would really just be a huge open market for Mexican pot.

The only way to cut off the money train to the cartels in Mexico is full federal legalization in the US. That way big suppliers like Marlboro (I can't believe I'm supporting something that would be a huge payday for those fuckwads) could get into the market to be the legally accepted provider of the product.
Posted by Root on October 12, 2010 at 7:02 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 15
@5 Mexi-weed mainly goes to the MidWest, though border regions in the SouthWest certainly get a large percentage too.

Calderon's claim of small-time Mexican farmers growing marijuana is rather laughable. The cartels do not appear to be the kind of business that will tolerate that type of comptetion. Calderon has absolutely no credibility on the subject, as he is the puppet leader of a failed narco-state.
Posted by Sir Vic on October 12, 2010 at 10:03 AM · Report this
Calderon is such a joke,he's. The main narco himself why does it always take U.S enforments
To do your job?I mean who have they caught without U.S assistance?
As a mexiccan myself I'm so ashamed of what my country become.legalizing will be
A nice blow to that country,but marijuana ain't their main product their killing over.
Smart campaign tactics is what it sounds like.cartels are killing themselves over syntethic
drugs and heroin.weeed is just chump change.Mexico produces stress weed americas
Weed explosion its mostly high grade marijuana.its a small blow sounds more like
Smart campainging on the 19 side.but ill tell you one thing the bloodshed in Mexico will
Never end.close the borders let them kill themselves.....
You can't help someone who don't want the help....
Posted by fer on October 14, 2010 at 2:45 AM · Report this
Calderon's comments are somewhat understandable. The U.S. has pushed Mexico and other Latin-American countries to reduce marijuana production and trading. Before Calderon's administration other mexican presidents (and even Calderon) have already considered to legalize marijuana in Mexico, however they have decided to not do so because of consensus with the U.S (which is the largest consumer and, at the same time, has put a lot of pressure to avoid legalization in Mexico). That's why the non-drug politics was implemented in Mexico. In order to fight drug cartels (as the U.S. has asked), Mexico has implemented several rules during the last years and has asked the U.S. to reduce the traffic of weapons and to have stricter money laundering laws. The U.S. government, however, has not provided help in this regard (it actually softened rules about these issues) and now it is possible that marijuana will be legal in California. I think that's the anger of the mexican president. The drug war in Mexico has cost a lot of lives and I think it is not only a problem of Mexico as a producer (or traffic route from South America) but also from the U.S. as a consumer. A better alternative would've been to let Mexico legalize drugs before it implemented all the non-drug actions, or to help it reducing drug production and traffic with coherent laws in both Mexico and the U.S.
Posted by Pec on October 27, 2010 at 7:15 AM · Report this
When a buddy and I were pondering today- "now, why would Calderone and the other Latin American presidents be so opposed to Prop 19?"- and all we had to do was follow the money to figure it out. Mexico gets hundreds of millions, (perhaps more, I ain't an expert on this stuff, look it up if you need to know exactly) from the U.S. to fight the "war on drugs" for us down there. Including all of Latin America, it adds up into $2-4 Billion perhaps. That would go away if there came a broad trend in the U.S. to legalize it; or if cross-border trade of drugs dropped off significantly. Whew, that's a lot of money for them to say 'Nah, y'all keep it!'. The U.S. war on drugs, _especially the public perception that it comes from abroad and needs to stopepd even at high costs_ , is an important part of their budgetary considerations.

Call it the Federale Stimulus Package!

On a related note, it seems like domestic production of weed would goeway uo. Think about those big Central Valley (CA) farms with weed! Grow lights, hydroponics, and huge electric bills shrivel in comparison to what extensive agriculture can do, at much lower cost. Big Ag and the free market could quickly reduce the price of weed to a fraction of what it is now. And importation of (bulky, heavy) weed would halt.
Posted by jimurl on October 27, 2010 at 9:03 PM · Report this

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