Vicente Fox, seen here at Politicon 2016, is opening his estate to host the first cannabis conference in Mexico. (Colin Young-Wolff/Invision/AP)
Vicente Fox’s ex-presidency in Mexico hardly began amid a positive media glow.
The charismatic former rancher and Coca-Cola executive ended Mexico’s 71-year, and notoriously corrupt, one-party rule when he was elected to the presidency in 2000 as the candidate of the National Action Party. But upon the end of his six-year term, the reformist hero drew scathing criticism over lavish spending as he built his presidential library and retreat on elegant grounds near the city of León in the central Mexico state of Guanajuato.
Yet now those regal grounds are serving as Vicente Fox’s personal Camp David as 75-year-old Fox cements his legacy as perhaps Mexico’s most-active ex-president. In a country consumed by cartel violence, Fox is the nation’s leading advocate for drug policy reform and cannabis legalization.
Opening ‘Centro Fox’
On May 30-31, Fox’s post-presidential retreat—a compound known as Centro Fox—will host an international conference to attempt to find solutions to reduce the bloodshed from narcotics trafficking in Mexico and roll back drug war policies around the world.
Fox last month said he hoped the conference may make a “transcendent contribution to…creating cultural change and new paradigms so that prohibition collapses in all of the world.”
So his Canna Mex World Summit is convening drug policy reformers from around the world along with cannabis research scientists, and experts in medicine, addiction treatment, technology, and agri-business and investment.
Fox has called for weakening the power of drug cartels in Mexico by decriminalizing narcotics and additionally creating a robust cannabis industry in Mexico, one that could also provide economic opportunity for peasant farmers operating under the thumb of the cartels.
But the conference comes as drug violence is surging anew in Mexico, with cartel-related killings blamed for pushing the number of homicides last year to more than 29,000.
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Published: May 11, 2018
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News