Mexico’s President Doesn’t Like the Idea of Marijuana Legalization

Mexico’s President Doesn’t Like Marijuana Legalization Idea

(Photo: Neal Preston/CORBIS)

Last week Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto shot down the idea of marijuana legalization after a recent ruling by the country’s Supreme Court opened the door to cannabis law reform.

Saying he did not find the idea “desirable,” President Nieto then stated flat out that he did not favor the legalization of marijuana. Trying to soften the seeming harshness of his stance, Nieto did say he welcomed a debate on the subject; maybe he is intimating that his mind can be changed.

Recent polls show that most of the country does not seem to be ready for the idea of marijuana legalization either, meaning its chances anytime soon may be slim.

At the very least the conversation has been started. Any reform starts with the conversation — the daring to admit there might be a problem with the current course of action. All eventual cannabis law reform in Mexico will flow from this point.

And the thing about marijuana law reform is that is can move very quickly once it gets rolling. This could be especially true in Mexico, who has neighbors to the north where marijuana laws are changing rapidly. I would imagine propping up prohibition would be much harder with legalization hitting so close to home. With states in the U.S. legalizing along with Canada, Mexico would have nothing to gain by being the only country in North America to fight for continued prohibition.

It has always amazed me that Mexico doesn’t fight its cartel problem by undercutting the business that the cartels do. You can arrest and kill all the criminals you want, but as long as the illegal markets are there for the cartels to profit from, the cartels — or some form of them — will always exist.

There always comes a time in the life of bad laws when most people realize it’s not working. The people and government of Mexico might not be at the point yet when it comes to cannabis prohibition, but they will be sooner rather than later.