Mexican Ambassador Says Legalizing Pot Is A “Debate That Needs To Be Taken Seriously.” Mr. President, Are You Listening?

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 13, 2009

    When President Barack Obama was asked recently whether he believed that regulating cannabis would raise tax revenue while reducing illicit drug profits for Mexican cartels, he responded with derision.

    He may be the only one laughing.

    This Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation, Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan was posed the question of whether legalizing marijuana would curb the surging violence associated with the trafficking of pot by Mexican drug gangs. Admirably, the ambassador did not answer with even the slightest hint of a chuckle.

    “[T]hose who would suggest that some of these measures (legalization) be looked at understand the dynamics of the drug trade,” Sarukhan said. (You can view the exchange at 2:22.) “This is a debate that needs to be taken seriously — that we have to engage in on both sides of the border. … It is a debate that has to be taken on with seriousness.”

    President Obama, are you listening?

    67 responses to “Mexican Ambassador Says Legalizing Pot Is A “Debate That Needs To Be Taken Seriously.” Mr. President, Are You Listening?”

    1. Mike says:

      I love all the publicity this subject is getting.. Remember people any publicity is GOOD publicity, There is no such thing as “bad” publicity…So whenever you hear something “bad” about it on the news, radio station, internet, etc..don’t get discouraged…We’re right around the corner of legalization.

    2. MikeL says:

      This week when Obama visits Mexico, the question is going to be asked again about legalizing marijuana in the states and this time he will not be able to laugh and joke about it. Can’t wait!!

    3. moldy says:

      I happened to tune into that show that I NEVER watch (strange). I was surprised at this gents seriousness when addressing the legalize question. I guess I’m getting use to some “people” laughing it off! Hopefully all that will change soon.

    4. steve says:

      nice to see someone talking like an adult for a change.

    5. Vladimir M. Ortega says:

      Please Mr. Obama with all due respect SET MY WEED FREE!! LET MY PEOPLE GO!

    6. CKDK29 says:

      Thats the problem he’s not listening but i do hav a gut feelin it will become legal cause its talked about more ,more an more pple r speaking on this voicing there opinion 420 here we come it might even get put on the calendar jus like St. pattys day. NEVER KNOW

    7. Dave says:

      This is amazing, and I hope the president is paying attention.

      Government agencies have known for some time now that the real way to take the power away from cartels and criminal organizations in the drug trade is to take away their money. You can seize all the drugs you want, but they’ll just grow or manufacture more. If you take their money, you take their ability to fund the operation.

      By legalizing marijuana and taxing it, the several billion dollars a year that marijuana brings in (it is, after all, the most profitable cash crop in the US) would no longer be in the hands of the criminals. This way you weaken the financial power of the cartels, their operational ability, and some of the lure that the easy and large profit margins from illegal marijuana sales offer.

      It would be one of the biggest blows to the cartels that the US has been able to deal out yet. And, on top of all of that, it would free up police and other law enforcement officers to pursue truly dangerous and deadly drugs, substances, and criminals.

    8. Preston McGuigan says:


      imagine this, when canada legalized pot, he’ll have pressure from the north, when Mexico is urging the U.S. to legalize pot, he’ll have pressure from the south. those two pressures along with internal pressure may be enough convincing

    9. Richard says:

      The situation looks better and better, if you ask me.

    10. aaron says:

      could we email President Felipe Calderon or something to ask him to talk about legalizing marijuana in the u.s with mr obama