You’ve probably seen Vicente Fox Quesada on Bill Maher’s “Real Time” on HBO or some other prime time TV show. Or maybe you’ve stumbled upon one of his viral videos dissing U.S. President Donald Trump. However, you may not know that the Harvard-educated Fox was also President of a G20 country: Mexico.
Many of us have seen Fox act cool and chill on YouTube videos, even calling President Donald Trump a “worn-out baseball glove tightly gripping a turd.” To our surprise, we learned that this is not a façade or social media persona, but his actual personality. So was discovering that Fox, who was not particularly progressive during his presidency in Mexico, has become a vocal advocate of cannabis legalization in recent years — even taking advisory positions at cannabis companies High Times and Khiron Life Sciences.
Having discussed general legalization and drug trade topics with Fox in the past, I wanted to learn why cannabis legalization, in particular, was such an important topic for him.
Why Cannabis, Mr. Fox?
The former Chief of State of the world’s 15thlargest economy feels that there are two main reasons to support marijuana legalization. First, he believes that legalization can put an end to the cycle of violence that its illegality has created. According to the very own Mexican government, more than 20,000 people die every year as result of the war cartels are fighting over the $19 billion to $29 billion in drugs that are sold to the U.S.
Second, Fox argues, legalization is a matter of personal freedom, of respect for civil liberties. The state should not intervene in people’s lives and choices unless their decisions are affecting others in a significant, tangible way, he’s said numerous times.
‘Trump Is A Myopic, Ignorant Knucklehead’
In the past couple of years, Fox has been openly critical of President Trump, bashing him on every chance he gets. But, what does he think about the federal government’s current position on pot, specifically?
“Ultra-conservatives like Trump nonsensically oppose to cannabis legalization,” Fox tells DOPE Magazine. “Trump will end up destroying all of the advances that cannabis has made in the U.S. He wants to go back to illegality, to continue to criminalize users, and to expand the country’s already large prison population. That’s just stupid.”
“Trump is a myopic, ignorant knucklehead who cannot properly evaluate and learn from history,” he adds. “Under the belief that his words carry God’s truth, Trump erroneously condemns cannabis.”
The issue is — we discussed, most things in this world aren’t inherently good or bad. Fox did not mean to make the “guns don’t kill people; people kill people” argument — believe us, we asked. What he didmean was that, while not everything is relative, many things are; that the manner in which any commodity is usedin large part determines the value, utility, worth and significance of that commodity.
“Take opioids as an example,” he suggests, controversially. “While many people abuse them, we cannot demonize all of their uses. Many opioids (like morphine) are needed to treat health problems, are very useful in hospital settings; it’s their abuse that’s a problem.”
He has a point. Opioids in the U.S. have become a national scandal, among other reasons, because doctors have prescribed them liberally, and allowed people to administer them without professional oversight. As a result, more than 62,000 people die from opioid-induced overdoses in the U.S. every year.
Conversely, if you were to take a look at most other countries in the American continent, you’ll notice that doctors only recur to opioid-based therapies as a last resource. Thus, abuse rates are substantially lower than in the U.S.
In fact, in most Latin American countries — from Mexico to Argentina, a vast majority of people has never even heard about opioids; they are not a serious public health issue.
Morals And Ethics
Like it or not, a similar argument can be made around cannabis. Not every way of consuming marijuana is indisputably positive; not every use is good for everyone — consider even mundane negatives like smoking too much and freaking out. However, this does not mean we can dismiss all of the plant’s benefits, just because we don’t like how somepeople use it, or how it impacts someconsumers.
“People often get morals and ethics issues involved in the discussion around cannabis, drugs, alcohol, tobacco and other substances,” Fox argues. “However, the fact is that we were all created to be free. God made us free and sent us to this Earth to enjoy the liberty he gave us; the United States’ Founding Fathers ratified this by arguing that the government, the State, has no right to meddle with our conscience and our free, sovereign choices as individuals – unless they affect third parties. But, beyond this, we deserve to manage our own consciences and beliefs, and to make our own, responsible decisions.”
“So, the U.S. federal government’s approach to cannabis represents a violation of our God-given liberty — present in all religions, and the freedom that was the base of the Constitution of the great nation of the United States of America,” he adds. “We live in a democracy so that nobody can arbitrarily go against freedom.”
“We need to start by legalizing cannabis for medical uses, move on to adult use, and eventually consider legalizing all drugs,” former President Vicente Fox ended.
Author’s Note: While this article is controversial and strong-worded, it reflects the interviewee’s positions and opinions. In the case President Donald Trump’s media team are interested in sharing the other side of the story, we encourage him to reach out to the author of this article via Twitter (@JavierHasse) to schedule a call or share some comments.