Mexico Warms To Legalization Following America’s Lead

Following the recreational legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto is considering legalization as an option for Mexico.

Nieto, who was recently elected, told CNN that while he still opposes legalization, the successful legalization in two U.S. states has prompted him to “rethinking the (marijuana) strategy” in his own country.

As one of the United States’ primary marijuana sources, it continues to struggle with drug-related violence, with over 55,000 related killings in Mexico in the past six years.

Mexico-CIA_WFB_MapIn Mexico, marijuana legalization is being considered by Mexican Congress legislator Fernando Belaunzaran, who recently introduced a national bill aimed to legalize marijuana usage, and other elected officials, according to the L.A. Times.

Belaunzaran has said legalization would reduce drug-related killings, and cut into the profits of the drug cartels, that generate 25 percent of their revenue directly from illegal marijuana exportation.

Mario Anguiano Moreno, governor of Colima, a Mexican sate, agrees that Mexico should enable a legalization referendum, and Mexican City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera is pressing for a national forum to discuss legalization efforts.

But these ground-breaking elected politicians are struggling against opponents who continue to press for prohibition, including a particularly vocal adversary Reforma columnist Sergio Aguayo who was quoted as calling legalization efforts in Mexico a “slap in the face” of the country’s former President Felipe Calderon, who was a steadfast supporter of the country’s war on drugs.

But just as there are voices against progress, with time the voices that support it will eventually outweigh them.  And if Colorado and Washington serve as successful examples that legalization is for the greater good, then legalization will continue to spread, throughout the United States, and eventually throughout the world.

About David Matson

David writes about criminal justice issues.
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