North America: Former Mexican President Vicente Fox Calls for an Open Debate on Legalization of Marijuana
Fox speaks out about responsibility, collaboration, and legalization as a solution to the drug war raging in North and South America
By Ms Sylence Dogood, Hemp News Staff
Will the debate about the legalization and regulation of marijuana finally come to a breaking point? Will we actually see the freedom of choice to consume Cannabis restored? Not only are United States leaders beginning to talk drug law reform, but now the Latin American leaders are joining with the discussion. According to CNN, former Mexican President Vicente Fox and other members of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy have called for a renewed conversation between the United States and Mexico about the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. Realizing that the "drug war" is raging and the escalating violence is not the way to continue, Fox wants to move the way of American alcohol prohibition and re-legalize marijuana, taking the power out of the hands of the black market.
Fox believes that Mexico and the United States must work together in order to move the issue forward and away from violence. Seeing the evidence that prohibition has not been effective, he hopes to take the violence and control over drugs away from the cartels. Right now they are using the army to fight the drug war, knowing all the while that violence against violence will never solve the problem, when the market for marijuana in the United States continues. Cartels bring the drugs in and return with money and stockpiles of weapons.
Fox realizes that it cannot simply become a free-for-all with drugs, and that caution and care must be taken; the proper steps must be chosen to move forward into legalization. But he knows that the drug war will not go away using current tactics, and a new way must be sought.
Now here’s a small history lesson. In 1919, the US Congress passed the Volstead Act, also known as the National Prohibition Act, even after it was vetoed by President Woodrow Wilson. This act made the sale of alcohol illegal, but did little to halt its production or distribution. Throughout the 1920’s, bootlegging, smuggling and the violence that comes with were rampant throughout the United States. With the Great Depression, prohibition became increasingly unpopular and in 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt repealed the Prohibition Act and re-legalized alcohol.
Interesting that now, with the country in financial crisis harking back to the days of the Great Depression and violence from smugglers and cartels on the rise, leaders are beginning to learn from history and see that prohibition does not work. Could it be that we will soon see a bit of our freedom restored? If there can be hundreds of businesses across this world that produce a variety of alcoholic beverages from beer and wine to whiskey and absinthe for the public to purchase and enjoy as they choose, why then can we not have a plantation tour to sample the latest harvest of choice Cannabis buds, in the same fashion as a vineyard tour? Why not bring a “souvenir joint” back from your trip to Cancun, much like someone might bring a bottle of tequila or coffee liqueur?
The transition from illegal to legal may seem daunting, but we have done it before in this country and we can do it again. It must come with respect, debate, and attention to the true human rights of the United States and those close to us. Education and a casting off of old propaganda will be a first step to a solution, but we must imagine a day where honest entrepreneurship can replace cartel violence.
Photo Source: http://www.norml.org