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U.S. not doing enough to decrease drug consumption, former Mexican president says

April 7, 2011 |  5:13 pm

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, a onetime U.S. ally in the war on drugs who now pushes for drug legalization, said the U.S. is not doing enough to decrease drug consumption and stop the flow of weapons to Mexico.

Prohibiting drugs doesn’t work, Fox said at a news conference in San Diego, and while Mexico has failed to defeat organized crime groups, the U.S. has also failed to control drug distribution within the country.

Fox, a member of the conservative National Action Party,  or PAN, drew a comparison between drug use, and people’s sexual orientation and a woman’s right to an abortion.

“We’re talking about the last frontier of prohibition. Tell me something else that is prohibited today? Abortion is permitted. Marriage between same-sex (people) now is permitted … smoking cigarettes is permitted, alcohol is permitted,” Fox said.

Fox,  who was in San Diego raising funds for his presidential library, has become an outspoken proponent of drug legalization, joining other prominent former Latin American politicians who believe law enforcement efforts to defeat organized crime groups are futile.

His view on legalization prompted Point Loma Nazarene University earlier this year to rescind its invitation to have him speak at their San Diego campus. During his visit, Fox gave speeches at a convention of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and at the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego.

“Given some of our constituents we felt it necessary to weigh that in,” said Michele Corbett, the marketing director for Point Loma Nazarene University, referring to Fox’s views on drugs. “We are a church- affiliated university and we take a strong stance against the use of drugs.”

--Richard Marosi in San Diego