Former Mexican President Vicente Fox said Thursday that cannabis should be added to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Bloomberg reports.
“We can change criminals for businessmen, we can change underground, illegal non-taxpayers into an industry, a sector of the economy. I think it should be part of NAFTA and that’s what I’m pursuing.”
Fox’s comments do not come as a surprise, considering that he has long advocated for legal cannabis. Recently, as the Business Insider reported, Fox described himself as a “soldier in the global campaign to legalize marijuana,” and joined the board of directors of High Times, a renowned cannabis-focused publication.
A legal cannabis marketplace would, according to Fox, produce new jobs, while creating a sharp decrease in cartel violence. Fox opposes the war on drugs, which he has criticized on numerous occasions, and considers freedom to be “the highest value that human beings have.”
“I don’t think that governments will ever have the capacity to impose behaviors, to impose conduct, to human beings. At the very end, prohibitions don’t work. What works is your own free decision.”
But, as the Business Insider noted, Fox said that he would not stop at cannabis. According to Mexico’s former president, all drugs should be legalized.
“These principles that I spoke about apply to all drugs,” Fox said.
According to Bloomberg, Fox is also on the board of Vancouver-based medical marijuana producer Khiron Life Sciences Corp.
Mexico legalized medical marijuana in 2017, but Fox suggested today that he expects recreational cannabis use to be fully legalized in the country by 2019.
On August 25, as the Inquisitr reported, President Donald Trump announced that a “big” trade agreement with Mexico “could be happening soon.”
Two days later, the New York Times reported on U.S. and Mexico reaching a new, revamped trade agreement. As the NYT noted, the POTUS said that he would try to change the name of the free trade pact, but there haven’t been many changes in substance.
The new deal with Mexico is, according to the NYT, a revised NAFTA with updates to provisions on labor unions, digital economy, and agriculture. The core of the deal, which allows companies from the U.S. to operate in Canada and Mexico, remains intact.
Trump’s willingness to move on with the deal without Canada has, according to Reuters, produced intensified conversation between the two countries. Trump has set a Friday deadline for Canada and U.S. to reach an agreement and, Reuters noted, both sides are “upbeat” about the progress made thus far.
However, for former Mexican President Vicente Fox, NAFTA is incomplete without cannabis.
“On vegetables, on fruits, on avocados, Mexico produces and provides up to 70 percent of the U.S. and Canadian market so we are efficient in producing, we’re efficient in farming and we’re low-cost and competitive,” Fox concluded.
In June this year, as Time reported, Canada passed a landmark bill legalizing recreational marijuana and therefore becoming the second country in the world to make cannabis legal nationwide (Uruguay was previously the only country to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide). Nine American states have legalized recreational marijuana so far.