Mexico Reacts to US Marijuana Legalization Votes

Mexico Reacts to US Marijuana Legalization Votes

Mexican Official: We should move to authorize exports

MEXICO CITY — Mexican officials are reacting with a mixture of bemusement and frustration after residents in two US states, Colorado and Washington, voted to legalize marijuana. Some are calling for the legalization of Mexican marijuana exports, while others, including key advisors to incoming President Enrique Pena Nieto, are saying that Mexico will have to “rethink” its drug policies in the wake of the vote.

Mexico has seen as many as 60,000 people killed in the last six years as the government of outgoing President Felipe Calderon declared war on the so-called cartels, which traffic large quantities of Mexican marijuana to the US, as well as methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine. The Mexican government has grown increasingly frustrated with what it sees as US laxity when it comes to fighting the drug war north of the border, especially with the broad acceptance of medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

And now, two states have moved to okay outright legalization.

In an interview the day after the elections reported by the Associated Press, key Pena Nieto advisor Luis Videgaray, who is heading the new president’s transition team, said that his government remains opposed to drug legalization, but that the votes in Colorado and Washington complicated its efforts to prosecute the drug war.

“Obviously we can’t handle a product that is illegal in Mexico, trying to stop its transfer to the United States, when in the United States, at least in part of the United States, it now has a different status,” Videgaray said. “I believe this obliges us to think the relationship in regards to security. This is an unforeseen element. These important modifications change somewhat the rules of the game in the relationship with the United States. I think that we have to carry out a review of our joint policies in regards to drug trafficking and security in general.”

Videgraray’s remarks come just three weeks before Pena Nieto is scheduled to meet with President Obama in Washington.

Conversely, Cesar Duarte, governor of the violence-plagued state of Chihuahua, said Wednesday that the legalization votes north of the border offered a “very clear” hint on what Mexico should do: legalize marijuana exports.

“It seems to me that we should move to authorize exports,” Duarte told Reuters in an interview. “We would therefore propose organizing production for export, and with it no longer being illegal, we would have control over a business which today is run by criminals, and which finances criminals.”

If the US doesn’t want to prosecute the drug war — as evidenced by the votes in Colorado and Washington — asked Duarte, why should Mexico?

“We can’t go on suffering for the effects of America’s vices,” he said.

  • wiseman


  • dAN


  • Raymond Tokareff

    Now the Banks can come out of hiding

  • Lucas Gomez

    Enrique Peña Nieto which was the elected president this year in Mexico and should start his period in December is actually a puppet put as presidential candidate by the Mexican media, corporations and drug lords to benefit with the US drug trafficking and other illicit activities which have already killed more than 60k Mexicans. This guy is all up for prohibition, it’s their business, Mexico as long as the drug lords control it will never legalize anything that makes them that amount of money they currently make.

  • ARI

    since when is it any of their business what we do in our sovereign nation, are they afraid their cartels won’t make money anymore?

    • Feek

      Considering we were the ones that talked them into making the drug laws in the first place, I would say that it makes complete sense they would make a comment or two.

      What business is it of theirs what we do in our sovereign nation? Idk, why don’t you ask the many countries around the world that saw us stick our noses in their sovereign nations.