Former Mexican President Vicente Fox on Tuesday told cannabis industry leaders at a business conference in Oakland that our neighbors to the north and south intend to take the lead in the booming market for medicinal and recreational weed, reports David Downs at the San Francisco Chronicle.
Fox told attendees at the three-day annual conference of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) that Mexico could soon produce 60 percent of the legal marijuana consumed by Americans. Both Mexico and Canada have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes, and both intend to start exporting the herb, an activity which is legal under international law.
Marijuana ‘Has To Be Integrated Into NAFTA’
“This product, cannabis, has to be integrated into NAFTA,” Fox said. “It has to have the trade potential of moving without barriers, without taxes and limits, only complying with the law, the consumer and his health. And he is willing to consume this product.”
Fox, who was the president of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, contrasted today’s legal cannabis entrepreneurs with the drug cartel kingpins his nation has battled for decades.
“How different it feels to be by the side of business community members who are responsible people and decision makers, rather than being by the side of Chapo Guzman or all those criminals that kill and kill and kill,” Fox said.
Fox: Sessions Is Crazy
The former president didn’t mince any words when asked by reporters what he had to say about U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ request to undo protections for medical marijuana states, reports Annie Sciacca of the Bay Area News Group.
“That he is crazy,” Fox responded. “That he doesn’t know about history. That he doesn’t know what we have built with such a big effort and sacrifice.”
The protections currently in place are due to the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized cannabis for medical use.
“I don’t know what has happened with this administration,” Fox said of Trump and his cabinet. “They are totally blind.”
‘A Sensible Industry,’ But Trump Is A ‘Beast’
Fox defended cannabusiness as “a sensible industry,” speaking of the need to decriminalize marijuana to end the violence associated with drug cartels.
He criticized what he called the Trump Administration’s “isolationism,” including the proposal to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border.
When asked by reporters how he’d handle Trump if he were president today, he responded, “How do you treat beasts?”
‘Work In Solidarity’
Aaron Smith, co-founder of NCIA, which put on the expo, urged cannabis industry attendees to unite through networking, and stick together in the face of a threatened federal crackdown on marijuana.
“It is imperative, now more than ever, to operate above board … and reach out and connect with the community and be good corporate citizens,” Smith said. He added that marijuana businesses should keep operations “out in the open and work in solidarity.”