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Mexico's Calderon strongly criticizes pot measure Prop. 19 in interview with The Times

October 8, 2010 | 11:37 am

Mexican President Felipe Calderon strongly criticized Proposition 19, the California ballot measure that would legalize small amounts of marijuana, saying it reflects softening attitudes toward drug consumption in the U.S. that is undercutting efforts to control organized crime groups in Mexico.

"The growing acceptance by the American public of marijuana as a medicinal drug is absurd," Calderon said, and he expressed disappointment that the U.S. federal government hasn't done more to oppose the measure.

"I think they have very little moral authority to condemn a Mexican farmer who for hunger is planting marijuana to sustain the insatiable North American market for drugs," said Calderon in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

California's Proposition 19 could have enormous implications for Mexico, and has triggered sharp debates between advocates who say passage could help stop the drug war and critics who are worried that growing demand would empower organized crime groups.

Calderon said loosening drug consumption laws would result in "serious consequences for American and Mexican society."

"Drugs kill in production. Drugs kill in distribution, as is the case in the violence in Mexico, and drugs kill in consumption," Calderon said.

-- Richard Marosi in Tijuana

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