Mexican Congress Ponders LegalizationApril 15th, 2009 by Russ
In the midst of its worst drug-related violence in decades, the Mexican Congress has planned a three day debate on the feasibility of legalizing weed. The talks are planned to conclude (not coincidentally) a day before President Obama arrives to discuss the future of American and Mexican drug war efforts.
Any move towards decriminalization would surely irk the American delegation, who have been repeatedly dumping billions of dollars into assisting Mexican military forces with their efforts to battle several incredibly well financed and entrenched drug cartels.
Dubbed “Plan Mexico” by its detractors, the plan has the US on the hook for over a billion and a half dollars in technology and training, with further provisions coming down the pipe including the delivery of several brand new Black Hawk helicopters. The debate will also chafe the sensibilities of President Felipe Calderon who has staked a reputation on a more violent and brute force-like approach to his country’s drug problems.
Alternatively, the debate comes with the blessings of three former presidents: Mexico’s Ernesto Zedillo, Brazil’s Fernando Cardoso, and Columbia’s César Gaviria. These leaders maintain that a decriminalization campaign could vastly reduce the income stream of cartels. It’s estimated that marijuana accounts for 60% of cartel profits. This speaks to the massive volume of Mexican weed in circulation given that Mexico is also the largest US supplier of both cocaine and methamphetamines.
Having already dismissed legalization proponents in his own country, a southward-bound President Obama may find a less receptive audience than he’s used to.