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MEXICO: Felipe Calderon criticizes California's marijuana legalization measure

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 are 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. 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," Calderon said 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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You have to understand logic to understand why drugs are worth money. If it were not for people like Calderon, stupid americans would never figure out what keeps politicians paid off and spouting their big mouths off about "sustain the insatiable North American market for drugs". Don't blame Calderon when you are victim of some crime because some lowlife needed to pay off Calderon for his expensive drug habit. We have our own terroist system supporting crime...illegal and expensive drugs. Drug lords and Calderon need our enlightened policy on drugs. Thankyou you Mr. Money!!

He just wants people to use MEXICAN drugs. People in the U.S. can now grow top grade pot right here.

Legalize all drugs. Tax Drugs for revenue the same as you Tax the drugs cigarettes and alcohol.

Use the savings from the WAR ON DRUGS, about $3 Trillion since Nixon, along with your newly found Tax revenue to treat addicts and reduce the deficit.

We wouldn't need a DEA or a Drug Czar (payrolls, buildings, benefits). US Customs would have a different mission. A whole lot less prisoners in jails around the country at $20-40,000/year/prisoner. Less wasted Court time and state, and local law enforcement can be used for violent and real criminal activity. The FBI can work on dangerous crime. A whole lot less money laundering (the bankers won't like that). Drug related violent crime and related monetary crime goes away.

The $3 Trillion spent on this fruitless war on drugs sure would have put a dent in the US deficit!!! The US hasn't cut into the supply of illegal drugs since the war was started 40+ years ago. Do You Think It’s Working?

Once drugs are legal the whole system of illegal drugs goes away. It implodes by itself since there is No Extraordinary Profit to be made. Government Corruption around the world drops. Notice I didn’t say goes away. Legalization might even create jobs in the US.

The Mexican drug war will end on its own. Less above normal US financial aid in this direction

Columbia's violence will drop and FARC will have trouble financing their revolt. The US would be shipping a lot less financial and other aid in this direction.

The Taliban in Afghanistan lose their revenue source to fund their war. That would save us a few lives and tons of money for US taxpayers.

Myramar/ Burma government loses funding and maybe a suppressing military dictatorship falls.

etc, etc.

The above are the many reasons why many interested parties don't want to legalize drugs.

Calderon must abhor the violence and killing that has been occurring in Mexico for the last several years, which are caused in large part by the illegal trade in marijuana, driven by American demand. However, life is clearly cheap in Mexico, in Calderon's mind at least, because he is unwilling to give up the $1.5Bn in "aid" to wage the drug war, which the US has given him over the last 3 years, to help end that violence.

It may be true that legalizing marijuana in the US would not end the war in Mexico completely, all by itself, but it would certainly end the gratuitous, unnecessary part. It would reduce its wealth and scale by some 40-60%. Since when is a 40-60% reduction in violence not worth the effort? At current rates, that would save about 1000 lives each year. And although the loss of the illegal marijuana market in the US would not end that violent war, cutting off US military aid for it certainly would!

I think that Calderon's anti-legalization position is based entirely on his desire to continue receiving huge amounts of military aid ($500 million/year) from the US. He has been bought and paid for by the US prohibitionist establishment. The US and its policies are MOST responsible for the violence in Mexico.

If the cartels have more money, more weapons, vehicles, military and police force than the Mexican government itself, the Mexican government needs to take all that drug money to cripple them and take all the weapons first. Without money, the cartels will be crippled. They need to do Internet, phone, cell phone, communications, wire transfers and banks surveillance.

The Mexican government needs to take the approach of a war strategist. They need to cut the communications between the cartels, themselves and their customers. Without communications, there is no deal. Find out how they are communicating, then cut them completely. ZERO. Zilch.

Look for their transportations, then cut them completely. You have to get rid of their supports, tools and devices first until they have no more money and they are all isolated from each other. It can be done, folks. Mexico and USA working together.

Marijuana doesn't kill people, people kill people. Also, the state kills people. But marijuana doesn't kill people, its a fact.

Legalizing a small quantity of marijuana in a person's possession would give rise to more drug dealers on the street that could make smaller amounts available.. Legalization of the drug, itself, would not end the Mexican cartel's involvement in drug trade. Situations may develop over time where the cartel could become the principal supplier for a medical marijuana dispensary, or the cartel operatives might use extortion tactics against dispensaries and marijuana growers. Law enforcement officers could be harmed through confrontations with armed dealers.. The high demand for marijuana as a recreational drug allures the cartels to California regardless of laws and regulations imposed by our government.

Mexico should just legalize all drugs and let the U.S. officials deal with whatever drugs make it into the states.

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

Tell that to Bristol Meyers, Squibb, Bayer, or any other manufacturer of legal and regulated drugs.

If psuedoephedrine and dextromethorphine are easily purchased, then so should marijuana be. At least it won't kill you when you use it to get high.

By the way, where's the big money from Ben and Jerry's? You know they're going to benefit more than anyone else when weed is finally legal.

President Calderon attempts to make a rhetorical link between marijuana and hardcore "drugs" here, in order to force marijuana into the same class of pharmaceutical as heroine, cocaine, morphine, et al., in order to associate the more hardcore violence with marijuana, but this is a false association.

Please Mr. President, how about some respect?! We are well aware of the difference between marijuana and hardcore drugs; we are not children. We are also aware of your need for US tax dollars for support and funding in fighting the drug cartels and your flair for fiery political rhetoric. Perhaps you should try a more respectful and responsible tack, sir.

The *only* reason marijuana may be lumped in with this "killing" is because there is such great profit in it's trafficking, specifically because marijuana is illegal and its profits are sought by criminals. These criminals fight turf wars over farming, production, packaging, transportation and sales of marijuana.

They will continue to do so until the laws are changed. When marijuana is legal, President Calderon will have fewer criminals to fight and he can focus on arrest and prosecution of real drug traffickers and smugglers, gaining better leverage against hardcore drug smugglers, in his use of the tax dollars and other assets he receives from the US.



Calderon is afraid that he's gonna lose his biggest cash crop!

Anyway, who cares what he thinks? Let him worry about his failed Mexican State.

While this fools are out there killing each other, we will solve their problem by legalizindg this drug.

I would think that if we pass the law to legalize Marijuana, then the source would be in California and the need from Mexico would drop. The Cartels would have to sell their “Weed” to maybe Iran or Iraq or some other suitable country. It will be interesting.

It will also be interesting to see the evolution of the conflict between Federal and state governments. I wonder which side the Neo-cons will take. How about the Libertarians?

I guess the President doesn’t understand the concept of … if you can’t beat them join them. The President of Mexico doesn’t understand that in this country called the United States of America the Federal Governments role is to leave the states alone to decide their own fate. If there is a conflict of law and order the Courts will settle the differences.

Mexico should try to reflect some of our methods of Freedom.

Why doesn’t Mexico get its military together and destroy the Cartels … To busy taking money under the table?


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

I say: Criminals kill in the production of drugs. Criminals kill in the distribution of drugs. Cigarrettes, Alcohol and Guns kill, but somehow we manage with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms ATF. Let's just legalize drugs (viola, no more criminals) add a D to ATF, and start living with a lot less fear for our lives because of these brutal gangsters.

P.S. Marijuana doesn't kill, and is nowhere near as bad for you as Alcohol. So this is totally ridiculous.

What is unfortunate about the marijuana legalization issue is that no one on the pro-legalization side seems to understand the impact this has on countries around the world. It's so easy to think globally when it comes to reducing emissions but when it comes to easing the pain of organized crime, our desire for drugs comes first. In a country that fought for its freedom and gained its responsibilities with blood, we are so spoiled that we believe everyone can act responsibly. It just isn't so. Marijuana growth is on the rise from Mexico to Afghanistan. The third world is responding to this delusional desire for mind altering substances. We need to legalize marijuana. This is true. So we can remind ourselves of why we made it illegal in the first place. And by the way, the cartels are anxiously awaiting this legislation. The California dispensaries have already proven that retail prices are higher than street prices. Just wait till the competitors start knocking each other off. Mom and Pop won't stand a chance.

Yeah, right ... This is BS -- He just has to keep saying that until we the people make the decision for him. He has to keep saying that so the US will keep paying for half of his war.

All politicians are spineless, not just ours. He will be singing an entirely different tune on November 3rd, you just watch.


I would say that the Mexican president should take some Microeconomics classes to understand the positive outcomes of legalizing marijuana over the long-term. Some of these results are lower prices on marijuana, meaning less profits for drug dealers since the supply of marijuana will rise. As supply rises, prices fall.

where did everyone get their fact about mariguana and other drugs being legal in mexico? that's completely false! police can still charge you for possesion... and our problem is not getting drugs, it's the 28,000 dead mexicans, the way the cartels are devastating northern mexico and the way the army is slowly creating a police state and restraining our freedom.
the thing is that police tends to ignore tourists and that's what creates the de facto drug tourism everyone keeps talking about.

anyway, as a mexican, i have high hopes the proposition will pass because the war on drugs is impossible to win, and we need someone to set an example to our stupid president and our incompetent government. an if such an example comes from the country on whose orders we are suffering the so called war on drugs... well, it's perfect!!. those opposed to the war, such as myself, may gain enough political momentum to finally change things here.

so, yeah, ignore everything that short sighted religious drunk says. we're stuck with him, but you guys have a choice that can help us finish all the violence here.

Cannabis is less physically addictive than caffeine, while the so-called "gateway drug" theory is a complete fantasy, and it was just recently called "half-baked" as a result of a scientific study. CNN reported that Cocaine use has dropped sharply, by 30% since 2002, which is really good news. I worked in addiction medicine for years, and this is what I can advice on the matter: Any suppression of Cannabis use will be immediately followed by an increase in alcohol/hard drug/prescription drug abuse! You don't believe me? Then maybe you will believe the Big Alcohol lobby that is financing the Cannabis Legalization opponents for exactly this reason. Right now Cannabis is just simply perceived as a much safer alternative to alcohol/hard drugs, which is precisely how it should be perceived. To have a society in which there is NO psychoactive substance use is an illusion, and it will be good for our government to realize this. So then, it becomes a matter of "safer choices", just like with the sex education. And Cannabis is, without a shadow of a doubt, a much safer choice than alcohol or hard drugs! Just very recently a research study in addiction medicine has determined that Cannabis may actually serve as an "exit" substance for recovering alcoholics/hard drug addicts! And there is another extremely important property of Cannabis that the prohibitionists would love to keep secret: Cannabis use suppresses violent urges and behaviors and, as one prestigious textbook says, "Only the unsophisticated think otherwise" Then, of course, there is a potential of Cannabis in chronic pain, where other drugs may be ineffective (or physically addictive), with very important potential consequences for our wounded veterans, many of whom have chronic pain. It is also worth noting that Cannabis may have certain preventative value for such devastating conditions as cancer and Alzheimer's disease. And all this comes with no danger of overdoses or induction of a physical dependence! Let's be very happy that the cocaine abuse rate is dropping. Let's not interfere with these dynamics, and then we can possibly achieve what has already been achieved in the Netherlands where the drug overdose rate is 85%(!!) lower than in the US, and that is with much more liberal Cannabis possession laws than in this country! Maybe it is time to give up "dogma" about Cannabis, and to start listening to the experts, if we really want to lower the alcohol/hard drug use in this country, and the accompanying dependencies and overdoses!

Anyone else think that Felipe may be influenced by the cartels to maintain his stance on marijuana, because the current situation is highly profitable for the cartels? The cartels are rich enough that they can get to anyone, including the President. They wouldn't be too happy if he supports legalization, because it would cut into their profits. Just a thought, but regardless...

Yes on 19!

Boycott Mexico until they end their idiotic war on drugs.

Calderon has tried and failed to defeat the drug cartels with military force. The drug war is not working. We’ve given it a fair chance. It's time to take a different approach.

The drug war, mostly about cannabis, has been waged with great fervor since Nixon started it in 1971.

The US has spent $1 trillion dollars and arrested 37 million people to fight the drug war. The Mexican government has thrown their armed forces into a full-scale fight for the US drug war, all without success.

The drug war cannot be won without legalizing cannabis. The only thing you get from even more violent police action is worse collateral damage that causes daily tragedies and wrongful deaths.

The collateral damage inflicted on US and Mexican citizens by the US drug war causes more harm than the drug use and is unjustified.

It would be such a shame if prop 19 passed and the revenues formerly flowing to Mexico as a result of the industries involved in circumventing prohibition
were to cease.

I'm all broken up that monies flowing to Mexico might remain in our local economies.

It's funny that Calderon would say that, in view of the fact that Mexico recently decriminalized possession of small amounts of ALL drugs, including meth and heroin. Why is that OK for Mexico and not for us? We're only asking for our Cannabis back, not the other drugs.

Bring back Over the Counter Cannabis - YES on Prop. 19!

Oh sure Mr. Calderon... It's okay for YOU to change the drug laws in YOUR country to say that ANY drugs (in small quantities) INCLUDING cocaine, heroin and others, won't get you arrested (unless you are a tourist/American that is)...

The REAL reason he doesn't want it passed is because the money made from major pot growth and sales is sent to MEXICO where it gets spent... We've all seen the pictures of the pallets of money these kingpins have down there...

Legalizing it in the USA (after Calif.) would mean that it would be legal to GROW it and therefore no need to buy MEXICAN pot (or CA pot grown by illegals)... Legalizing it would clear out the courts of about 80 percent of all drug cases and clear out the jails of thousands of inmates costing taxpayers BILLIONS of dollars!

Or is he worried that California pot growers will start sending pot SOUTH??

'"Drugs kill in production. Drugs kill in distribution, as is the case in the violence in Mexico, and drugs kill in consumption," Calderon said.'
Nonsense! Drugs kill in production and distribution only because they're illegal and carry artificially inflated prices because of it. In 5,000 years of the recorded history of its use, marijuana has never killed a single person from its consumption.
Legalizing marijuana in California will reduce the demand for cross-border smuggled marijuana. As California does not control the international border, its legalization of marijuana would not make it any easier to smuggle.

This sounds very convoluted to me. I thought Mexico already legalized Heroin, Cocaine and etc? American pharmacies sell a broad variety of narcotics to the afflicted. There is a historical record of medicinal use of hemp stretching back across cultures to prehistoric times. Criminalization has not resolved the recreational cannibus issue and drug laws in the states have functioned as de facto jim crowe laws. so perhaps some new initiatives are worth exploring.

If I was cynical I might imagine that Calderon is concerned about Mexican market share and falling prices of what has been a cash crop for peasants.

Now why would Calderon say that? Is he trying to protect a huge source of income for his country at the expense of the U.S.?

Just as the cartels can't compete against legal alcohol sales, they also can't compete against legal marijuana sales. The after-tax marijuana prices able to be set by legal stores will be too low for the cartels to match. Gone will be the bulk of their funding, gone will be the violence they use to protect it.

This is the first opportunity in forty years to bankrupt the cartels and Calderon *opposes* it?!! Very suspicious.

What a miss-guided man that president is. He doesn't realize that by legalizing marijuana it california would no longer have to rely on mexican gangs as a source for its decriminalized marijuana.Its prohibition that causes that violence in mexico. The only reason there is killing involved in the production and distribution of marijuana is because its illegal, its out of government control and its unregulated. To say that the consumption of marijuana kills is completely false, there has never been a documented death caused by mary jane.

Would this hypocrite of a mexican president just shut his trap? Marijuana has been legalized or "de-criminalized" in mexico last year, along with heroin, cocain, name it. The move has caused substantial drug tourism to his country. Here he goes again criticizing Americans in the same hypocrisy about criticizing SB1070 in Arizona, where their wall and crackdown of Nicaraguans in the souther border have been brutal. I must say I admire the man about his business accumen. If we legalize pot in CA or the rest of the US, then there's less revenue for them to line the pockets of his goons. Viva mejico! atzlan forever!

Wow. That made very little sense.

Frankly I find it good news that an idiot who has totally screwed his country and driven it to the brink of civil war finds Prop 19 a bad idea. Some people I don't want on my side, and Mr. Calderon is near the top of the list.


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