Calderón hints US should legalize drugs
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MEXICO CITY - For the second time in less than a month, Mexican President Felipe Calderón has inched toward suggesting that the United States decriminalize narcotics if that’s what it takes to reduce the “astronomical profits” of the crime gangs roiling his nation.
If the United States cannot reduce demand for drugs, Calderón said in New York on Monday night, then “decision makers must look for other solutions, including market alternatives.”
Calderón was asked Tuesday morning on CBS’ “Early Show” if he was suggesting drugs should be legalized.
“I’m talking about market alternatives, market solutions,” Calderón said. “Either we reduce consumption or we need more alternatives, more solutions.”
Calderón declined to specify the alternatives, or how they might reduce the profits of narcotics traffickers. But some analysts in Mexico and the United States said it was code language to open debate about legalization without using a word that draws contentious reaction.
“It’s loaded. We call it the ‘L word,’ said Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance, a New York-based group in favor of decriminalization.
“It’s essentially like uttering out loud a political heresy, and he wants to avoid that.”