Cannabis 'Should Be Part Of NAFTA' Says Former Mexican President Vicente Fox

As the NAFTA negotiations rage on, Vicente Fox proposes that cannabis trade should be up for discussion.

The former Mexican president and noted cannabis activist Vicente Fox has spent much of the past few years pushing for the legalization of marijuana in his home country. He has argued that creating regulatory framework for cannabis sales would be the most effective way of stopping violent drug cartels.

"We can change criminals for businessmen, we can change underground, illegal non-taxpayers into an industry, a sector of the economy," Fox told Bloomberg on Thursday.

Now, he's advocating for cannabis trade to be included in the developing NAFTA negotiations.

"I think it should be part of NAFTA and that's what I'm pursuing."

With Mexico's already strong position as a major produce exporter to the US and Canada, Fox sees big potential for Mexican pot on the North American markets.

"On vegetables, on fruits, on avocados, Mexico produces and provides up to 70 percent of the US and Canadian market so we are efficient in producing, we’re efficient in farming and we're low-cost and competitive."

Of course, the US federal government's continued prohibition on cannabis would make a legal Mexican-US cannabis trade an unlikely reality—especially in the light of the White House's planned smear campaign against the legalization efforts. However, Fox's assertion that opening up legal trade would reduce violent crime is hard to argue with.

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Alberta recently announced plans to stop licensing cannabis retailers until Canada's cannabis supply shortage has been resolved—a move some US experts think is the wrong way for the Canadian province to approach the issue. At the end of November, the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC), which regulates the province's cannabis industry, said they would temporarily stop issuing licenses for new pot shops. The AGLC says they made that move because the province simply can't get enough cannabis to supply any more stores.

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