On Nov. 6, the country watched closely as voters legalized small amounts of marijuana for adults in Colorado and Washington
. And now those votes are resonating south of the border.
And while Calderón leaves office Dec. 1, this issue is far from
done: His successor favors a discussion of legalization, and Calderón's
colleagues say they'll pressure the United Nations to take up the issue
of drug prohibition by 2015.
Calderón's six years in Mexico City were defined by the Drug War. Shortly after taking office in 2006, he reacted to drug trafficking in his home state of Michoacan by sending in the troops. To sum things up very briefly, the situation escalated, and six years later, nearly 40,000 people have died. Meanwhile, people in the United States, Mexico, and every other country on Earth still use drugs.
After Calderón met Tuesday with the leaders of Honduras, Belize, and Costa Rica, he told Mexican media that having a federal American government spend time and money on shutting down marijuana dealers in states that allow marijuana use is a bit curious. Specifically, it "weakens [America's] moral authority" -- "resta autoridad moral," Calderón said.
At the very least, voter approval of legal marijuana means that drug policy needs to be fundamentally rethought, revisited, or otherwise changed. And while Calderón won't be able to get around to that by the time he leaves office next month, the future is bright -- at least for the possibility of continued dialogue on legalization.
Incoming president Enrique Peña Nieto has in the past said that Mexico should consider legalization. So there's that. Then again, his Institutional Revolutionary Party has also been accused of having close, corrupt relationships with drug cartels. So there's that, too.
In any case, the development to watch will be if the United Nations considers its Latin American members' pleas to convene a special meeting and consider the future of drug prohibition.