This week, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) held their Cannabis Business Summit and Expo in Oakland, California, welcoming over 75 speakers from all aspects of America’s fastest growing industry. Of all the distinguished guests at the fourth annual conference, the most notable was surely Former Mexican President Vicente Fox, who was honored as the keynote speaker.
Fox’s keynote address touched on the need for an open global trade market for cannabis to allow the industry to reach its full potential, also demonstrating how the legalization of adult-use cannabis in his home country could end the intense violence caused by the cartels and illegal markets.
But it was the former President of Mexico’s comments during a separate press conference at the NCIA event that had the ears of reporters perking up.
On President Trump, Fox accused the administration of being “so crazy and so ignorant about what is going on in the world” and called the President himself “a disruptor” and “destroyer” of social progress globally. “The world is moving, and it’s moving in the right direction,” added Fox. “If anything, we don’t need America to be great — we need a great world.”
Fox told reporters that Trump is “blind” and his “white, middle-class male” supporters shouldn’t be interpreting his perspective as their own world view. Fox added that Trump should not be imposing his will on the American people through executive orders.
“We need leaders with very strong, profound, compassionate attitudes,” said Fox. “It is a real shame for this great nation… We’re all pissed off out here hearing his crazy Tweeting and his crazy public policies that have nothing to do with the soul and feelings of this nation.”
The former world leader said the current Commander in Chief doesn’t have a place in politics and should “go back to business.”
On Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Vicente Fox called for more consistency in federal drug policy to align with the majority of states that have already passed reform. When asked about Sessions’ recent request for federal medical marijuana protections to be lifted in order to possibly bring prosecution, Fox called A.G. Sessions “crazy” and claimed that “he doesn’t know about history.”
“Humankind is moving along and making decisions to build a better world,” Fox assured the gathered media, possibly trying to convince himself, too.
When speaking about the War on Drugs and its devastating effects on Mexico, Fox explained that his home country typically gets caught in the crossfire because of its location between some of the world’s biggest suppliers to the south and the highest demand for drugs globally to the north. Fox remained firm in his long-held stance that drug use should be considered a healthcare issue rather than a law enforcement one. “Mexico is paying the price for this war. We’re paying the price of losing our kids by the tens of thousands — hundreds of thousands in the last ten years — in trying to restrict the traffic and transiting of drugs from the south to the north. So I do think it is time to start thinking wisely and to stop thinking about criminalization issues and to start respecting a human being’s freedom. They will make the right choice about what to consume for their own body and their own selves.”
While Fox’s comments highlight the immense work still left to do, it is quite encouraging to hear a world diplomat of his stature speak so openly about the incredible progress that has been made so far, both in terms of cultural mindset across the globe and access to marijuana.
Cover Image Courtesy of Beck Diefenbach