Jump to content

Legends Alliance Forums

Photo

Former president of Mexico calls on U.S. to legalize drugs


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 JRPomazon

JRPomazon

    Selfish, Arrogant Bastard

  • Moderators
  • 15,196 posts
  • Location:Beverly, Massachusetts
  • Gender:Male
  • United States

Posted 23 April 2012 - 12:05 AM

Source: http://www.kens5.com...-147558755.html

San Cristobal, Guanajuato -- President Vicente Fox is among a growing number of leaders in Latin America calling on the U.S. to legalize drugs to reduce violence and organized crime.
"Prohibitions don't work, and the last remaining frontier of prohibition is drug, and we should questions ourselves why drugs," Fox said.
It's the same question President Barack Obama will hear from some of the leaders gathered at the Summit of the Americas this weekend in Colombia during talks about drug policies in the region.
"This war on drugs is totally lost," said Fox, the former president, during an interview at his sprawling ranch, where he built the first presidential library in Mexico.
Fox continues to speak out about issues even after leaving office, another first since most former presidents quietly retreat from public life.
And the man who ended 71 years of one party rule with his election victor is speaking out on the drug war as the current presidential race heats up.
"This problem is killing us, so I really hope whoever wants to be sitting in the presidential chair as of December of this year, he better have a solution to this," Fox said. "We cannot keep going as we are today."
Fox is critical of the current president's drug war strategy. Current President Felipe Calderon is a fellow PAN party member, who began a crackdown on drug cartels shortly after taking office in 2006.
"When you go against the same wall for five years and nothing changes, but it's getting worse," Fox said. "You have to do something . And leaders have to recognize when you have to change."
Part of the change he advocates is legalization, and not just marijuana.
"I would go on legalization all the way -- all drugs and in all places. Why? Because I think it's immoral," Fox said. "It's not ethical that we request from government or the state to take responsibility as to whether our kids or our citizens use drugs. It's a personal, individual decision."
It's a controversial position, but he says Mexico needs creative solutions as it copes with a drug war that has killed more than 50,000 people since 2006.
"We're losing tourism. We're losing foreign investment. We're losing hope," Fox said. "Our young people don't know what to think. What faith can they have in the future?"
"Our business community is moving out with their families to Dallas, Houston, San Diego, Miami, even Toronto," Fox said about the families who've left Mexico to escape violent crime including kidnappings and extortion.
The former president says he wants his library to serve as a place to debate ideas and inspire the next generation of leaders in Mexico.
More than 200,000 people visited "Centro Fox" this past year. Many were students including 70,000 school children from rural areas of Mexico who went through a five hour course about democracy and leadership.
The program is called "president for a day." The highlight: children get the chance to sit in the chair in a replica of the presidential office.
"The whole idea is to change their minds and what they think their destiny might be, of just being migrants or working construction, or harvesting fields," Fox said.
His most pressing concern: "We need peace, and we need peace as soon as possible."


I've never been to Mexico. I frankly never want to go to Mexico. That being said, the former president's idea to make drugs legal seems like an idea that will only make things worse for everyone.

Edited by JRPomazon, 23 April 2012 - 12:06 AM.


#2 Showsni

Showsni

    The Fallen

  • Moderators
  • 13,373 posts
  • Location:Gloucester
  • Gender:Male
  • England

Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:42 AM

I can see where he's coming from. If you legalise something, you can enforce rules about it, you can regulate it and keep it as safe as possible. Not to mention the extra tax money it would bring governments. On the other hand, these are substances that are mostly known to be very dangerous. Is it right to allow people the choice to do something you know is harmful for them?

It's a little like one of the arguments for abortion - if you legalise it, you can regulate it and at least stop many dangerous backstreet abortions. Perhaps legalising drugs could stop dangerous drug deals with shady traffickers.

I guess it boils down to how much say we want the government to have in our lives... Do they have the right to prevent people doing something that's only harming themselves? I guess since suicide is illegal the current position is "yes".

Personally, I'm against using recreational drugs myself, but I guess I'm a kind of live and let live if other people want to do it. I do think governments should display consistency when it comes to things like this, though; why not also ban tobacco? Or, if they're allowing tobacco, why not allow (regulated, of course) some of the other drugs?


#3 Twinrova

Twinrova

    President Bird

  • Moderators
  • 14,304 posts
  • Location:Rova Scotia
  • Gender:Female
  • Romania

Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:04 AM

Ehhh. I am absolutely all for the legalization of marijuana, but I'm not so sure about the others. My gut reaction is to say to keep them illegal, but when I actually put some thought into it I think people should be allowed to make their own decisions about what they want to do. There's plenty of people who abstain from alcohol and tobacco without the law saying they should. I think we would probably be better off legalizing them all, since it would pretty much abolish drug related crime. Really, the people who want to do drugs are going to do them whether there's a law saying they should or not....but if they're legalized then the government could at least put regulations in place to make them as safe as drugs can possibly be. I agree with Showsni's acronym text; legalize everything but make sure you educate everyone on the effects and dangers of each drug so people can make an informed decision if they want to participate or not.

Edited by Cutesycuffs, 23 April 2012 - 11:04 AM.


#4 Selena

Selena

    Odinsdottir

  • Admin
  • 17,268 posts
  • Location:Behind you.
  • Gender:Female
  • Sweden

Posted 23 April 2012 - 11:08 AM

I'm for the legalization of marijuana for a number of reasons, even though I'm not personally a fan, but legalizing all drugs would have disastrous consequences. Pot doesn't really do anything. Something like meth, on the other hand, can get you addicted from the very first use and turn you into a raving lunatic with the potential to harm yourself and others. Lot of good people have been sucked into that abyss, especially in my part of the country.

While "live and let live" is a nice ideal for most things, people are not truly independent. If you live in even the smallest town, you're part of a community. The actions of one person can have negative consequences for everyone else. Hard drugs and their subsequent addictions can have dangerous effects on a family or community. There's potential for violence if someone can't get their fix -- either harming their own loved ones or someone else's. Work performance declines. Treating the health problems associated with addiction will throw yet another preventable problem into our broken healthcare system, straining it even further. You could expect that police forces would have more disturbances to deal with, which would require additional taxpayer money. If someone wants to ruin their life, that's fine. But not when it effects everyone else, and drug addictions have always hurt more people than just the user. Sometimes the bystanders are the ones that deal with the most suffering.

The typical counter-argument to that is "well, that's true for alcohol, too, and that's still legal." And overeating, really. Those are both true, but neither have the same raw, destructive power as something like heroin or meth. Alcohol is addictive, but it takes a lot of time or bad genes to make it a habit that's difficult to kick. Marijuana's harmless, and there are various gray area drugs that aren't necessarily any more harmful than over-the-counter pills, but some drugs are just bad news all around. ...We should really cut back on the over-the-counter stuff, too.


Mexico imports almost all of our illegal drugs, and the fighting between unregulated drug cartels has been tearing their country apart. It's understandable that there's frustration, given how all this bloodshed concerns the habits of people in the United States and how none of the cartel profits benefit Mexico itself, like they would in legitimate trade.

The problem with hard drugs isn't so much legalization, but in fixing the underlying causes for why people turn to them in the first place. Mexico, on the other hand, needs to make working for a drug cartel less appealing and give their people more legitimate opportunity. Nobody wants to get shot by the feds, but sometimes it's the best way for them to make ends meet.

#5 J-Roc

J-Roc

    "I'm the microphone assassin, beats blastin!"

  • Members
  • 3,501 posts
  • Location:Sunnyvale Trailer Park
  • Gender:Male
  • Canada

Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:56 AM

There's plenty of people who abstain from alcohol and tobacco without the law saying they should. I think we would probably be better off legalizing them all, since it would pretty much abolish drug related crime. Really, the people who want to do drugs are going to do them whether there's a law saying they should or not....


THIS, this is the truth! But the part about it abolishing drug related crime: all that means is that criminals who would be otherwise be engaged in selling harmless pot are now probably invading your house. Less crimes doesn't mean less crime.

Pot doesn't really do anything.


I know it wasn't your point, but that's not true at all. Its known to have a vast number of medical benefits and may even cure cancer (though that is a highly contenious issue).

While "live and let live" is a nice ideal for most things, people are not truly independent. If you live in even the smallest town, you're part of a community. The actions of one person can have negative consequences for everyone else. Hard drugs and their subsequent addictions can have dangerous effects on a family or community. There's potential for violence if someone can't get their fix -- either harming their own loved ones or someone else's. Work performance declines. Treating the health problems associated with addiction will throw yet another preventable problem into our broken healthcare system, straining it even further. You could expect that police forces would have more disturbances to deal with, which would require additional taxpayer money. If someone wants to ruin their life, that's fine. But not when it effects everyone else, and drug addictions have always hurt more people than just the user. Sometimes the bystanders are the ones that deal with the most suffering.

The typical counter-argument to that is "well, that's true for alcohol, too, and that's still legal." And overeating, really. Those are both true, but neither have the same raw, destructive power as something like heroin or meth. Alcohol is addictive, but it takes a lot of time or bad genes to make it a habit that's difficult to kick. Marijuana's harmless, and there are various gray area drugs that aren't necessarily any more harmful than over-the-counter pills, but some drugs are just bad news all around. ...We should really cut back on the over-the-counter stuff, too.


I kinda feel like a dick for picking on your post, Selena, because I know you didn't put it up to get into a semantics debate. But I have known people who have lived long successful lives while being full-time heroin users. Oxycodin is another great addiction I've been a part of, but it is legally prescribed and like Viagra or any number of other pills extremely easy to simply buy off of a dealer. If prescription drug abuse is such a rampant problem then why not legalize everything? If the question is will people die well they are going to die some way. Not having pot and the many other illict drugs as an available "source of income" also would disable ability to acquire prescription meds illegally, I'd love to see the stat on where people get these meds from? Because if they have been abusing for awhile its a sure bet they have a dealer.

How many people do prescription drugs hurt every year? It probably greatly outweighs the significant increase in violent crimes now that they have legalised all drugs. But we have a great number of shortcomings in society, if it is always a question of money why not legalise all drugs and tax the shit out of them? We in Canada already pay billions of dollars to survive a dying population of smokers. We already have infastructure in place to deal with alcoholics and all the other types of shitheads that exist out there (NA! No kidding!). In the end all this situation is like a man holding a mad dog with a chain and you are doing what he says cause you are scared of getting killed by the dog. Its a fucking dog. Protect yourself, fool, the world is a big bad place.

#6 Twinrova

Twinrova

    President Bird

  • Moderators
  • 14,304 posts
  • Location:Rova Scotia
  • Gender:Female
  • Romania

Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:19 AM


There's plenty of people who abstain from alcohol and tobacco without the law saying they should. I think we would probably be better off legalizing them all, since it would pretty much abolish drug related crime. Really, the people who want to do drugs are going to do them whether there's a law saying they should or not....


THIS, this is the truth! But the part about it abolishing drug related crime: all that means is that criminals who would be otherwise be engaged in selling harmless pot are now probably invading your house. Less crimes doesn't mean less crime.


What? I'm not sure I understand. Why would an ex-pot dealer invade someone's home?

#7 canas is back

canas is back

    The best dang dark magic user evah

  • Members
  • 1,749 posts
  • Location:back in Bakersfield,ca
  • Gender:Male
  • NATO

Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:54 AM



There's plenty of people who abstain from alcohol and tobacco without the law saying they should. I think we would probably be better off legalizing them all, since it would pretty much abolish drug related crime. Really, the people who want to do drugs are going to do them whether there's a law saying they should or not....


THIS, this is the truth! But the part about it abolishing drug related crime: all that means is that criminals who would be otherwise be engaged in selling harmless pot are now probably invading your house. Less crimes doesn't mean less crime.


What? I'm not sure I understand. Why would an ex-pot dealer invade someone's home?

a way to make money now that his former business went out of business.

#8 Egann

Egann

    The Right Stuff

  • Members
  • 3,938 posts
  • Location:Georgia
  • Gender:Male

Posted 24 April 2012 - 03:54 PM

Mexico imports almost all of our illegal drugs, and the fighting between unregulated drug cartels has been tearing their country apart. It's understandable that there's frustration, given how all this bloodshed concerns the habits of people in the United States and how none of the cartel profits benefit Mexico itself, like they would in legitimate trade.



If drugs were legalized, the cartel owners would suddenly become the front of a legitimate business. They would cut a bargain with politicians to say "we will export drugs and the tax dollars will help your budgets," and pour quite a bit of money into political campaigns. The politicians will turn a blind eye to their pasts because they provide money in the present.

They would own Mexico, for all intents and purposes.

This isn't a bet to get rid of the cartels; it's a bet that, given the chance to be legitimate businesses, the cartel owners will leap at the chance. Pardon me, but I don't buy it. Rebeliousness is a lot like a drug; once you think you're above the law, you'll never go back. Sure, they'll want to appear legitimate, but are they going to drop as lucrative a business as illegal immigration? No, they'll throw a blanket over it, buy some people yachts to keep quiet, and, if they're caught, go on 60 Minutes and claim they're helping the average Mexican against the racist, evil, and wealthy United States.

The irony? Since the economy tanked the rational for illegal immigration has changed from "go there to make money" to "go there to escape the cartels here." The new "owners of Mexico" will not let things get better (either economically or politically) because it's not in there best interest. They can separate Mexican workers from their life savings if things get bad enough.

#9 Selena

Selena

    Odinsdottir

  • Admin
  • 17,268 posts
  • Location:Behind you.
  • Gender:Female
  • Sweden

Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:12 PM

@Dudeguy:

I'm sure there are people who lead otherwise productive lives while taking harder drugs, but that doesn't change the fact that it's considerably easier to develop a damaging addiction to hard drugs - especially stuff like meth - than with otherwise harmless drugs like marijuana.

The part about this being a "community" issue, not just an individual decision, is that taxpayers - the community - get stuck paying for dumb people acting dumb. If someone wants to take it upon themselves to take the hard stuff that pretty much systematically destroys their insides, that's their decision. But who pays for the bill when he gets rushed off to the hospital because he overdosed, or used the drugs for so long that other health disorders develop? Everyone else. And since the community is putting up the money to fund healthcare and public services, it's fair to say that it's not just a personal decision when you decide to get messed up in drugs. And that's not counting the fallout that can occur in someone's personal life.

If it were a hardcore libertarian state where, if you don't have the money to fund your treatment, you just drop and die, then that's a genuine individual decision. You made the choice. You pay the medical bills if something goes wrong. You suffer the consequences if you can't.

This gets a little off-topic, but it's still relevant. I support government healthcare, but the main problem with it - instead of it being "evil socialism" - is that a pretty good chunk of our health problems are all self-inflicted. Whether it's illegal drugs, alcoholism, smoking, excessive use of prescription drugs, excessive use of over-the-counter drugs, excessive overeating, or just sitting on your butt all day and never exercising. We basically nurture and promote a society of ill health. If we have a problem, we throw pills at it, resulting in side-effects and dependency.

Most of the money we pay into healthcare is not to provide aid to those who suffer from accidents or "normal" diseases, but to undo the damage that we willingly inflicted upon ourselves. The biggest health problems are not Little Jimmy falling out of a tree and breaking his leg, nor is it about somebody who catches the flu, but because Doofus over there shoveled pancakes and syrup into his mouth every day for ten years and is now surprised that he has the diabeetus.

For every dollar we'd earn selling legal substances, we'd probably throw it away again just as quickly when we suffer for our addictions. Or at least make drug manufacturers richer while the poor get plunged deeper into medical debt. And how much money could we save if we got our shit together and stopped being irresponsible idiots about what we do to ourselves? How much money could we instead invest in the sciences, education, and building up our infrastructure? Cut our military budget in half and get our health in line, and we could be the most prosperous sons-of-bitches in the world.

So, I'm someone that would prefer promoting a culture of greater health and less shit, rather than turning all the bad habits loose at once for the sake of "fairness" (i.e.: "Well, alcohol's legal, so everything else should be, too!"). I support the legalization of pot, though.

However, a compromise could be reached in which all drugs are made legal, but the resulting medical issues would have to be paid for out-of-pocket -- not from public medical funding. Individual freedom has to work both ways. You have the freedom to make bad choices, but I shouldn't be forced to fund a culture of dependency.

I'd still prefer discouraging excess consumption, though. Whether it's food or prescription meds or hard drugs. Jack up prices on junk food, ban regular cigarettes and replace them with pot, tax alcohol, and keep the hard shit illegal. Discounted gym memberships! More hiking trails and parks! Easier ways to ride a bike to work!

#10 Twinrova

Twinrova

    President Bird

  • Moderators
  • 14,304 posts
  • Location:Rova Scotia
  • Gender:Female
  • Romania

Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:57 PM

Lena, you make it sound like if they legalized all these hard drugs that everyone would jump at the chance to try them. I'm sure there would be *some* people who would, but I think in general people would still shy away from them the same way they do now. :P


I could totally see an increase in pot smoking though. I know I'd go for it.

#11 Selena

Selena

    Odinsdottir

  • Admin
  • 17,268 posts
  • Location:Behind you.
  • Gender:Female
  • Sweden

Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:01 PM

No, I'm not saying everyone will get into the hardcore stuff. Most won't. :P

At least initially - there'd be a slight increase after the "taboo" went away, but it still wouldn't be more than a small percentage of the population. Presumably.

#12 Elvenlord

Elvenlord

    BBBFF

  • Moderators
  • 2,714 posts
  • Location:Polis
  • Gender:Male
  • Russia

Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:27 PM

I'd say there'd actually be a decrease once the taboo goes away. You know there has got to be a ton of people, especially teens, who wouldn't do it if it wasn't illegal. I mean look at Prohibition. I'm pretty sure alcohol use actually went up.

#13 Selena

Selena

    Odinsdottir

  • Admin
  • 17,268 posts
  • Location:Behind you.
  • Gender:Female
  • Sweden

Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:53 PM

I don't know the rates off-hand. I agree that some of the allure might be lost (plenty of older adults still go out and drink heavily), but a lot of people also can't be bothered to sneak around to get the stuff, as opposed to just walking into a state-run store and buying a pack of commercialized meth. I wouldn't put hard drugs near the same level of alcohol. Prohibition also banned something that had been part of society since the dawn of civilization - so not directly comparable.

And while I agree that the majority of people wouldn't bother, I can see it becoming a rite of passage for teenagers. Getting shitfaced at a bar for the first time can sometimes have the effect of "OH GOD NEVER AGAIN" for some people. Certain hard drugs aren't as easy to walk away from, even if you've only done them a few times. No one ever means to get addicted.

But I'm admittedly biased. Know one too many people that have turned into angry husks of their former selves. I'm pretty liberal about most things, but I can't bring myself to condone the hard stuff in any way, shape, or form. :(

It's just really depressing to see the transformations that happen.

#14 J-Roc

J-Roc

    "I'm the microphone assassin, beats blastin!"

  • Members
  • 3,501 posts
  • Location:Sunnyvale Trailer Park
  • Gender:Male
  • Canada

Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:02 PM

@Dudeguy: :D
The part about this being a "community" issue, not just an individual decision, is that taxpayers - the community - get stuck paying for dumb people acting dumb. If someone wants to take it upon themselves to take the hard stuff that pretty much systematically destroys their insides, that's their decision. But who pays for the bill when he gets rushed off to the hospital because he overdosed, or used the drugs for so long that other health disorders develop? Everyone else. And since the community is putting up the money to fund healthcare and public services, it's fair to say that it's not just a personal decision when you decide to get messed up in drugs. And that's not counting the fallout that can occur in someone's personal life.


There is a ton of drug abuse cases in the hospital right now, eating up your precious resources. We require significantly more money to make any real headway in healthcare, I agree. But to worry about the personal lives of people? There are tons of reasons people are homeless and fucked up right now, I think the question of whats the better choice long term is trivial but you disagree, this is interesting.

For every dollar we'd earn selling legal substances, we'd probably throw it away again just as quickly when we suffer for our addictions.


Wow, that sounds like an awesome novel. AND THEN WE ALL GOT ADDICTED TO DRUGS. WE COULDN'T HELP OURSELVES :D