In a recent interview with High Times, former Mexican president Vicente Fox expressed why he believes the prohibition of marijuana (and other drugs) isn’t working. “Prohibition doesn’t work and has never worked,” Fox said, comparing prohibition to Adam and Eve. Perhaps, Fox speculates, the two wouldn’t have tried the forbidden fruit if God would’ve explained why it was bad, rather than just banning it altogether.
Former Mexican President Cites Two Major Reasons He Believes Drug Prohibition Has Failed
When asked about cannabis legalization and the business opportunities resulting from legalization, the former Mexican president not only did he support the legalization of marijuana, but of other drugs as well.
For one, Fox says that keeping drugs illegal has only led to increased violence. “We’ve seen so much violence, hundreds of thousands of young people die in the hands of gun-related violence over the last decade…It makes no sense,” Fox told High Times. “Drug lords have taken control of the markets trafficking and transporting the drugs to the United States, and this has complicated things everywhere.”
Secondly, Fox believes that keeping drugs illegal is against the concept of individual liberty. “I am intense believer in freedom,” Vicente said. “I think all prohibitions should disappear off the face of the earth…except for those limiting anything that affects a third party.”
Give the People the Freedom to Choose What They Want Says Fox
He believes that consumers ought to have the freedom to choose what they want. This would involve transforming “prohibition into regulation”, but before this can happen says Fox, there needs to be consumer education, access to information, time for people to process the information, and become accustomed to this new idea where people take care of themselves and one another instead of relying on the state to do so.
According to Fox, “We need to stop thinking that the government will protect our children and families from drugs. That has never happened. Only educating at home,” he says, “we’ll be able to create consciousness around the fact that what’s important is moderation, rather than prohibition.”
Legalizing Drugs Will Help Create New Jobs
Fox also expressed how he believes that legalizing drugs can create a thriving business community, taking drugs out of the hands of criminals and giving them to honest entrepreneurs instead.
The former Mexican president believes that “people aren’t born criminals.” He says that by legalizing drugs “people that have been turned into criminals by this unjust system” will be given opportunities they didn’t have in the past. He argues that these people have been “pushed toward crime by the lack of opportunity.”
Fox says, “As we re-legalize drugs, we will create a lot of new jobs that can help us keep young people away from crime. Legalization will create jobs for engineers, retailers, farmers, processing professionals, manufacturers…All of the formerly marginalized people will find opportunity and well-paying jobs.”
Fox ended his interview with High Times by saying, “We are on our way, decriminalizing drug use slowly; it’s just a matter of time before we can move to full legalization.”