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by Peter Moskos

December 26, 2009

Calls for Drug Legalization in Mexico

From the Wall Street Journal:
Growing numbers of Mexican and U.S. officials say—at least privately—that the biggest step in hurting the business operations of Mexican cartels would be simply to legalize their main product: marijuana. Long the world's most popular illegal drug, marijuana accounts for more than half the revenues of Mexican cartels.

"Economically, there is no argument or solution other than legalization, at least of marijuana," said the top Mexican official matter-of-factly. The official said such a move would likely shift marijuana production entirely to places like California, where the drug can be grown more efficiently and closer to consumers. "Mexico's objective should be to make the U.S. self-sufficient in marijuana," he added with a grin.

He is not alone in his views. Earlier this year, three former Latin American presidents known for their free-market and conservative credentials--Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico, Cesar Gaviria of Colombia and Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil--said governments should seriously consider legalizing marijuana as an effective tool against murderous drug gangs.

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