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Former Mexican president: hey, let’s make cannabis part of Nafta

Vicente Fox, president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006. Photo fuente.presidencia.gob.mx
Vicente Fox, president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006. Photo fuente.presidencia.gob.mx

Vicente Fox was the Mexican president from 2000 to 2006. He has now publicly recommended that cannabis be covered by the North American Free Trade Agreement – Nafta. He declared that criminals could be transformed into businessmen and “underground, illegal non-taxpayers” into an industry. Hence he believes that cannabis should be part of Nafta.

This is no surprise

Fox’s remarks ought to offer no surprise given that he is a long-standing advocate of legalising cannabis. Not long ago, he termed himself “a soldier in the global campaign to legalise marijuana.” After his spell in office as Mexican president, he has joined the board of directors of High Times. This bills itself as the world’s leading source of daily cannabis news since 1974. He also sits on the board of Canadian medical marijuana producer Khiron Life Sciences Corp.

What effect this would have

Fox believes this move would create jobs and drastically lessen the violence by drug cartels that has plagued his country. He has often criticised the war on drugs. He holds that freedom is “the highest value that human beings have.” He also thinks that governments can’t impose behaviour: “At the very end, prohibitions don’t work. What works is your own free decision.” Better yet, he wouldn’t stop there and would legalise all drugs: “These principles that I spoke about apply to all drugs.”

Nafta’s being changed

Mexico legalised cannabis for medical usage in 2017. The former Mexican president is confident it will be legalised for fun purposes by 2019. Nafta negotiations have been afoot between its members, the United States, Mexico and Canada. It’s expected that the agreement will be revised. Revisions will particularly concentrate on agriculture.

Don’t forget the cannabis

Fox considers that Nafta would be incomplete sans cannabis. Mexico already supplies 70 percent of the US market and is very efficient in this respect. Fox described his country as “low-cost and competitive” with cannabis.

It’s a little too soon

Matthew Nathanial is general manager of the Californian cannabis company Heavy Grass. He sees trade agreements as the way of the future. Just not yet, because all three of Nafta’s members are at the early stages of market development. As he put it: “There’s still much to do before a deal of this scale can be a reality.”

One little problem …

Lex Corwin founded the Californian cannabis company Stone Road Farms. He highlighted one teeny problemette: Nafta is a federal trade agreement and cannabis is illegal federally, so Fox’s wish will never come to pass.

Hey, let’s not do it

Corwin would, anyway, oppose any move towards having Nafta cover cannabis. This is because small cultivators and manufacturers already struggle with what he described as “California’s excessive regulation” and the ever-changing legal framework. According to Corwin, cheapo Mexican cannabis would be “a death sentence” for US producers and endanger tens of thousands of jobs.

Let’s not do it II

Another to disagree with the one-time Mexican president is Jamie Warm, CEO of href=”https://henrysoriginal.com/”>Henry’s Original. This is one more Californian cannabis company. (OK, there are many of them).

Like Fox, Warm sees Mexico as very efficient with cannabis – all-too-much. He remarked, “US farming has collapsed as it has been outsourced everywhere. How is that fair? But cannabis is one crop that small farms have relied on for income.” Part of Mexico’s advantage is that it lacks the environmental regulations and worker protection found in the States.

Let’s not do it III

Kenny Morrison, president of the California Cannabis Manufacturers Association, thinks potheads will prefer quality. This is hardly Mexico’s selling point, but Mexican dope could yet exert a considerable effect. He believes that there will always be a market for Californian craft cannabis, but Mexico could still have a large impact: “[I]t happened to kale [leaf cabbage]. Why not cannabis?”

Vicente Fox is cool

Fox’s coolness extends beyond being the former Mexican president and supporting the legalisation of all drugs. The Spanish word for “fox” is “zorro.”