Since leaving public office in 2006, former President Vicente Fox has been one of the most outspoken supporters of marijuana legalization in Mexico. He has relentlessly criticized US Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other supporters of cannabis prohibition, and he's promoted legalizing both medical marijuana and recreational use by speaking at events like the CannaMexico™ World Summit, which runs from May 30-31, 2018.
"The CannaMexico World Summit is an international event that will offer a wide range of information, and numerous networking opportunities in the cannabis industry," President Fox told Civilized. "Industry experts, professionals and leading companies in the fields of science, research, finance, medicine, government, technology, innovation, agriculture and entrepreneurship - among others, will gather to discuss the current opportunities within the cannabis Industry in Mexico."
They'll also discuss the one big obstacle in the way of all those opportunities.
"Our objective is to push forward the process of legalization through informing and educating Mexican authorities of legalization’s economic advantages," Fox added.
'Mexico can't and shouldn't be left behind'
The CannaMexico World Summit will take place as Mexico's North American neighbor Canada moves closer toward repealing cannabis prohibition. Those gains make Fox worry that Mexico could be fall behind the legalization movement.
"Recently there have been important advances worldwide regarding the status and views toward cannabis," President Fox said. "Mexico can’t and shouldn’t be left behind and it is therefore very important to hold a forum that will encourage a dialogue between authorities, decision makers and entrepreneurs to promote a positive public and media opinion of cannabis."
At the same time, he wants local lawmakers to learn from those other countries.
"It is crucial Mexico listen to and learn from the experiences of other countries as they manipulated their way through the labyrinth of legalization and be able to establish itself as a serious contender on the international cannabis scene, to be able to truly extract the economic advantages that cannabis has to offer Mexico."
Aside from making money, legalization is about making life better for everyone in Mexico. Fox wants legalization "to act as an instrument of positive social change, contributing to an overall sense of community and self-sufficiency. Legalization will not only boost economic activity, it also will decrease criminal activity."
'It is my duty to discuss this topic openly'
Fox added that he sees legalization as a major part of his political legacy.
"As the former president of Mexico, it is my duty to discuss this topic openly and in a professional and well-organized forum," he told Civilized. "There is a lot of pressure from citizens aimed at authorities to start discussions on the topic of cannabis. The first step was taken by allowing medical use of cannabis but we need to go for the 'whole enchilada' and achieve full legalization."