Former Mexican president Vicente Fox has joined the growing chorus of influential voices who think drugs should be legalized and regulated. “Legalization does not mean that drugs are good,” he wrote in an Internet posting this week, “but we have to see (legalization) as a strategy to weaken and break the economic system that allows cartels to earn huge profits.” Newsweek notes that Mexico’s drug war has claimed 28,000 lives in the past four years.
Fox was president between 2000 and 2006 and was a staunch U.S. ally in the war against drugs. Last year three former Latin American leaders–Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, César Gaviria of Colombia, and Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico–wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that declared the war on drugs a failure. The Economist put it this way: “By any sensible measure, this 100-year struggle has been illiberal, murderous and pointless.”