For Immediate Release: August 4, 2010
Contact: Tom Angell – 202-557-4979 or media//at//leap//dot//cc
Trevor FitzGibbon - 202-406-0646
US Law Enforcement Group Urges President Obama to Join Mexican President Calderon in Debate on Legalizing Marijuana
Responding to out-of-control violence related to the illegal drug trade, Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Tuesday said that he is open to a debate on the legalization of marijuana and other drugs. Calling the increasingly widespread public discussion of legalization “a fundamental debate,” Calderon said, “You have to analyze carefully the pros and cons and the key arguments on both sides.”
In response to President Calderon’s call for a debate on drug legalization, Norm Stamper, a 34-year veteran police officer who was Seattle’s chief of police and is now a speaker with the group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and an adviser to the Just Say Now campaign, called on President Obama to join the debate on legalizing marijuana:
“President Calderon’s call for a debate on legalization is a big step forward in putting an end to the war raging in Mexico and along our borders. More than 28,000 people have been killed by Mexico’s drug cartels since 2006 – including 1,200 in July, the deadliest month yet in this drug war.
“Legalizing marijuana is the most sensible approach to stopping this border war. Cartels thrive on marijuana prohibition. Around 70% of the cartels’ profits come from the illegal sale of marijuana, which they turn around to buy guns that have killed thousands of Mexicans and that terrorize police on America’s streets.
“Just Say Now welcomes President Calderon to this debate. We hope that President Obama will join this debate to end the war on marijuana.”
Previously, Mexico’s ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, said that, “Those that suggest that some of these [legalization] measures need to be looked at understand the dynamics of the drug trade” and that the idea “needs to be taken seriously” by officials on “both sides of the border: both in producing, in trafficking, and in consumption countries."