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Photo: AP
Mexican soldier caqrries marijuana plants seized near Aguililla,

​To embattled government officials in Mexico, where armed soldiers patrol the streets and more than 500 people have died in cartel-related violence just this year, marijuana seems inextricably linked to the enrichment of death-dealing drug bosses who earn huge profits smuggling the illicit weed north.

“Marijuana arrives in the United States soaked with the blood of Tijuana residents,” said Mayor Jorge Ramos, whose police department lost 45 officers to “drug violence” in recent years, report Nick Miroff and William Booth of the Washington Post.
But across the border in California, cannabis has a very different reputation — that of a healing herb. After the Obama Administration said it would not prioritize the prosecution of patients and providers who were abiding by state medical marijuana laws, about 100 dispensaries opened in San Diego alone in the past year.

Photo: Brian Kersey/UPI
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox: “We should consider legalizing the production, distribution and sale of drugs”

​Former Mexican President Vicente Fox is joining the chorus of those urging his successor, President Felipe Calderon, to legalize drugs in Mexico, saying that could could help break the economic power of the country’s illegal drug cartels.

The comments, posted Sunday on Fox’s blog, came less than a week after Calderon agreed to open the door to discussions about the legalization of drugs. Calderon, however, stressed that he remained opposed to the idea, reports E. Eduardo Castillo of The Associated Press.
“We should consider legalizing the production, distribution and sale of drugs,” said Fox, who served as president from 2000 to 2006 and is a member of President Calderon’s conservative National Action Party. “Radical prohibition strategies have never worked.”
“Legalizing in this sense does not mean drugs are good and don’t harm those who consume then,” he wrote. “Rather we should look at it as a strategy to strike at and break the economic structure that allows gangs to generate huge profits in their trade, which feeds corruption and increases their areas of power.”