04/10/11 Vicente Fox

Vicente Fox, former Pres of Mexico, "prohibition does not work" + Pete Guither publisher of Drug War Rant

Century of Lies
Sunday, April 10, 2011
Vicente Fox
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Century of Lies / April 10, 2011


The failure of Drug War is glaringly obvious to judges, cops, wardens, prosecutors and millions more. Now calling for decriminalization, legalization, the end of prohibition. Let us investigate the Century of Lies.


Alright, thank you for joining us on Century of Lies. I’m Dean Becker. In a little while we’re going to hear from Mister Pete Guither. He’s the publisher of I don’t know, runs Drug War Rant. It’s a great news and comment blog, if you will, but as I indicated earlier we had a chance to speak with Mister Fox out of – excuse me, Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico. He was up at Texas A&M University just a couple of days ago and Pete and I will discuss Mister Fox’s comments here in a little bit.


President Vicente Fox: We have problems right now in Mexico but it’s not our problem. It is what happens in Mexico and why so much killing was going on there. What are they doing?

Well, we’re trying to stop the drugs from crossing the border, so you it doesn’t reach you or young people in the States or Houston or drugs in the States. That’s what we’re doing because we are not a drug consumer nation.

President Vicente Fox: It happens here. So we, in a way, are doing the job for the United States. We don’t produce drugs in Mexico, very little. California, where I am coming from today produces more marijuana than what is produced in all of Mexico.

California, a state right here in this nation, and the rest of the drugs come from Bolivia, from Ecuador, from Columbia and from Venezuela. We are mot we are not a great producer of drugs either. We are not consumers and we don’t produce drugs. Then why the problem? Because we are in between the producing nations of the South and the consumer market in the North and we are use as a way of transit, to bring the drugs.

What happened when those cargo loads cross the border? Right here, very close to here. Maybe at this very moment cargo is crossing the border. Well, it’s up to Mexicans to stop it. Why doesn’t this government and its Security Agencies and its Drug Enforcement Agencies border? Who takes that drug from there? From Chicago to Seattle to New York to Washington, to everywhere in the states? Who takes it there and why is it not stopped? Who delivers? Who collects? And what is collected is billions. Big, grande, big B, billions.

Audience: (Laughs)

President Vicente Fox: Billions of US dollars that are collected here, that are laundered here, that are taken back to Mexico and that money is used for three things; to bribe Mexican officials and police. It is used to buy weapons. And guess where? Here, right here. The weapons, the ammunition are bought in United States with the money that drove addicts and consumers to pay for the drugs and with that they buy the guns.

Finally, that money is used to contract thousands of kids, 14 years old and 25 years old, which are working for the cartels and not working for maybe a $1000 a month. Every day they go out and they take the risk of dying or killing.

40,000 have died in the last 4 years, but another 40,000 killed them and today there are many, maybe another 100000 are working for the cartels. So, we took about 200,000 kids in Mexico that could and should be in universities. Could and should be having a job and an income and unfortunately they don’t they were not born criminals, believe me. They were not and we are treating them as criminals but they were not born criminals. It is not in their genes to be criminals. So, there we have a huge opportunity to work.

So, that money is used for paying that payroll with those kids. So, how are we going to solve this? And this is maybe were we can discuss how can we solve this. Because we are trapped in the meantime Mexico is paying in the toll in blood and death and in the meantime Mexico is losing tourism and visitors and income that we used to have. In the meantime foreign investment is not flowing into Mexico because the decision makers now say that right now it’s not a good opportunity to invest.

Look at the hundreds and the thousands of relevant and non-relevant businessmen from all of the north of Mexico that have transferred their families to live in San Antonio, in Houston and San Diego and everywhere around here.

Look at your compañeros, by asking those who come from Mexico if they are thinking one they finish once, once they get their degree if they come back to Mexico and say, “No, for the moment, I am going to stay here for a little bit.”

So, the loss and the cost is terrible for Mexico. So, what we have to get out and trap and less it costs a little bit to get out of that trap. So, maybe we have enough. So, now I am at your disposal. I’m a little bit aggressive when I talk. I don’t know if the police will take me when I come out.

Audience: (Laughs)

President Vicente Fox: Now, go ahead. Señor?

Dean Becker: Mister President, thank you for being here and…


Dean Becker: At this point Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico, stepped away from the microphone as he asked for questions. I got to ask him the first. First, I asked him to join me at a future date for a further discussion and then I said,

“Given the horrors we inflict upon ourselves, empowering the cartels, even Osama Bin Laden and the thousands of US gangs, what is the benefit? What positives have we derived from this policy?”

Here’s his answer.

President Vicente Fox: Nothing.

Dean Becker: Thank you for thought. Yes, sir.

President Vicente Fox: I am supporting legalization.


Dean Becker: Now, I know it’s hard to make out, but his answer was, “The benefits are nothing. I am supporting legalization.”

I started digging for my pocket microphone, a few seconds later this is the best I could get.


President Vicente Fox: I don’t take drugs because they are harmful to my health. They affect my heath. So, why are we demanding from the State or from the government to stop the supply of drugs, protect our kids [unintelligible] case so they cannot have access to drugs.

Many drugs are the very last frontier of the prohibitions. I cannot think of anything else that I prohibited today. Abortion is perhaps legal in many nations. It’s led to the free choice of people. Alcohol, cigarettes are now legal.

So, I think the responsibility lies on the person, on the consumer and the family and the home and the kids. Governments will never have the opportunity to cut the supply of drugs. They will always be there. So, we better prepare our kids, our citizens not to consume drugs because of their own free will. Don’t do it.

Number two, we have examples, a few not many we have them. [Unintelligible] They penalized, legalized long ago and nothing special happened. They have not increased their level of consumption. Then Portugal followed, ten years ago. The end result is in this report from the Cato Institute that you can look at on the internet, it’s a very relevant renowned, respected which is in Washington DC. So, they prepared this ten year report.

The result is 25% drug decrease in Portugal. California is about –or was about to take the step of releasing marijuana. 44% of the people backed up the decision in that referendum. It was not enough. I am sorry that it didn’t happen. It would have been a great step towards a solution to this problem.

We have to separate the health problem and deal with it from the violence problem and deal with it. If by legalizing it you suspend, you terminate the amount of income the cartels are taking. In the case of Portugal, they kept the same market –black market prices. So, imagine the take of government when they got the cartels out.

Now, government is the one that takes the money by selling drugs, the government, in private sector. It’s a huge amount of money use for what? For information for education for prevention and for putting on the labels on packaging saying it’s not good for your health. It can kill you are going to have brain trauma, kidney problems, so like with the cigarettes. So, this makes it possible that decrease 25%.

In the case of the United States, if we could reduce to zero consumption, the cartels would not have money. They would dedicate themselves to something else or disappear. So, there is a lot of things that would support that idea. But what happens? Why not? I would say that it is beliefs.

We all have beliefs, beliefs that were created or that we learned over all of our lives. We have many good beliefs but we have many limited beliefs. So, we are associated with Pacific Institute from Seattle Washington and they teach you how the brain works, how decisions work within ourselves and how we get rid of those negative beliefs that don’t let us do our best.

They work mostly with US professional cooperatives. They change losers into winners. They change mediocrity into quality. So, that’s the rational. If we had adjusted those beliefs, if they were adjusted like in the case of alcohol in Chicago, a hundred years ago with prohibition, we might not have this prohibition. And if we adjust that and move to the next priority, I think this will happen.

Prohibitions don’t work. It started with the Garden of Eden, with the apple. Adam and Eve ate the apple and then they went forth. So, I am promoting that and I think that many things will change.

Mexico needs a new police squad. Mexico needs to withdraw the army, according to my point of view. Recall the army bring I back to the headquarters and let the police handle it because we are in this vicious circle.

They say, “No, I will not take out the army unless I have the kind of police I need,” and we don’t need them there. Take back the army and force to do good, be reliable, efficient and work with them. So, many things have to be done and that is enough on this issue.


Dean Becker: Alright, once again that was Mister Fox, Mister Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico, speaking at Texas A&M University. He answered my question there in the middle of that. We do have with us now, Mister Pete Guither. He’s a blogger. I guess is the way to say it. He has a website, Drug War Rant. With that, let’s go ahead and bring in Pete. Are you there?

Pete Guither: You betcha, good to be here.

Dean Becker: Hey Pete, you had a chance to listen to that speech and question there from Mister Fox, right?

Pete Guither: Yes, I did.

Dean Becker: You have written quite extensively in this regard over the months and years, have you not on this situation over in Mexico?

Pete Guither: Yes, it’s certainly one of the big concerns that we have regarding the damage of the Drug War. I think he spoke very well about how Mexico essentially is in this middle position between the drug producing and drug consuming and is essentially being forced to fight the United States Drug War that it has exported throughout the world.

I think countries like Mexico and others around the world are now starting to realize that by taking on that destructive war, they’re the ones hurting from it. I’m hoping that more voices like President Fox’s will be raised and I think we are seeing more of that all of the time. To start going, “We are not going to accept your Drug War. We’re not going to take the destruction on ourselves that the Drug War causes.”

Dean Becker: You know Pete, I, when the event was over, I had just a few seconds to round up the gear, well, he stepped away from the microphone and that one wasn’t working but I just went and grabbed it. When I turned around, of course, he was whisked away.

I was going to actually going to ask invite him to join LEAP [Law Enforcement Against Prohibition] to heck, to be the Mexican Director of LEAP, you know. He certainly qualifies in every aspect doesn’t he?

Pete Guither: Absolutely. He would be great and the message that he is giving is the same one that LEAP is promoting, which is ending the destruction of the Drug War and it isn’t necessarily about promoting drugs, it’s about preventing damage caused by prohibition.

Dean Becker: Yeah, I guess you heard there when the mic was failing and I asked him what is the benefit and what have we derived and his first thought was, “Nothing.” That kind of sums it up right there, doesn’t it?

Pete Guither: Right and in fact, of course, “nothing” is generous. Because—

Dean Becker: Well, true.

Pete Guither: One of the things that I talk about is the whole notion that prohibition isn’t free and we often talk about, well, what have we gained from the Drug War? Have we reduced drug damage? No, we’ve actually reduced it. Have we helped people with problems? No, we haven’t. In additional to that are all the costs of prohibition that often are forgotten like the violence and corruption, the loss of rights, everything that is involved that has to be counted as a cost.

Dean Becker: And another thing that, well, the United States is beginning to recognize some papers and broadcasters are beginning to make note of the fact that according to some even President Vicente Fox, 40,000 kids have been killed by another 40,000 kids and there have been 200,000 of these kids basically aged 14-25 in a nation with no economic opportunity. It’s a pretty good job. Your thought?

Pete Guither: Oh, absolutely. That’s what we do. We create job openings with the Drug War. Every time we arrest someone, every time we arrest someone, every time we take out a cartel, all we’re doing is creating a lucrative job opening.

So, all we’re never helping anything, what we’re doing is turning a lot more young people down a very destructive and bad path and we are rewarding the ones that are the most ruthless, the most violent because the more we enforce it, the ones that are willing to go all that way to be more ruthless and be more violent are the ones who are going to emerge on top with the profits. So, we actually help force this every step of the way with this Drug War.

Dean Becker: Yeah, Pete and one comment he made really got my attention, as he was wrapping up his speech he said something like, “I’m a fairly radical guy. I don’t know the police might come and take me away.”

Pete Guither: (Laughs)

Dean Becker: And this is part of the paranoia.

Pete Guither: Yeah.

Dean Becker: That comes from speaking the truth.
Pete Guither: Yeah.

Dean Becker: Your response?

Pete Guither: Yeah, I think that’s true. I run into that kind of constantly. I’ve been blogging openly for over eight years at drugwarrant.com and I’m sure that the DEA knows who I am because the Head of the DEA, if she puts her name into Google, gets my articles.

Dean Becker: Yeah.

Pete Guither: I have to say that’s the way it is but I have a lot of people who come to my site who are afraid to use their name, who are afraid to speak out, who are, I think, justifiably nervous that they will be targeted in one way or another for daring to speak out against the tradition of prohibition

Dean Becker: You know, I had on my show a couple of times Doctor Joel Hochman. He now deceased.

Pete Guither: Um, hum.

Dean Becker: But he was head of the American Pain Doctors Association

Pete Guither: Yes.

Dean Becker: And he had a phrase for the parents of children who OD, for the kid to not worry about it because the parents will blame the drugs but the truth of the matter is he took the drugs, they did not take him. That’s kind of what I thing that President Fox was kind of eluding to there. Why do we insist that the State protect our children? Wouldn’t it be better to have good education and purity and all of these things that would mitigate the potential harm? Your response?

Pete Guither: Yeah and every bit of evidence shows that that’s the only way that it works. If you take a look at what we do, if we are really concerned about kids, if we are concerned about kids overdosing then why are we putting the purity and the safety of drug into the hands of criminals? That’s essentially what we are doing.

We’re saying, “Well we want to protect kids. So, if they do take heroin, we want to make sure that they have no idea what is in it. It will probably be unpure. It will probably have horse tranquilizers or something else mixed in with it and they’re more likely to OD on it because there are no safety precautions or anything that way.” So, it’s not about saving children or people in the current regime. If we legalize and regulate, then we can have a much better chance of reducing the harm of nay dangers of any dangers of drugs.

Dean Becker: You know, I referenced earlier his potential within LEAP and I don’t know if he borrowed it from him about the first prohibition being the apple.

Pete Guither: Yes.

Dean Becker: But Peter Crist, that’s part of his speech.

Pete Guither: Yes, absolutely. You can tell that Fox has spent some time listening to and probably talking to LEAP.

Dean Becker: I hope he’s been listening to my shows.

Pete Guither: What?

Dean Becker: I hope he’s been listening to my shows (Laughs) but go ahead.

Pete Guither: (Laughs) Yeah and I was pleased to see that reference, the reference to Glenn Greenwald’s report on Portugal at Cato and some of the other things that shows that he has really been out there doing the studying and picking up on the details.

Deam Becker: I did a chance to walk up and shake his hand and gave him my business card. I hope President Fox does get back in touch with me. Something he brought forward that I’ve been hammering a lot of late and that is that the Drug War is a quasi-religion. It’s a belief system based in hope that will never be achieved and President Fox was talking about that too that we have to change our belief system. Your response, Mister Pete Guither?

Pete Guither: Yeah that I think that’s a very, very good point. Part of it is that it has become so ingrained in so many people through their lives, through the years of propaganda, through the years, “if we do this prohibition it’s going to solve the drug problem and everything else” that people do have this ingrained and sort of like a belief.

The scary part to them is any kind of sense of saying, “oh that was wrong, it didn’t work and we have to go an entire different direction.” That essentially says that everything that they believed and that everything thing that they worked for all those years was wrong. People don’t like to face that about themselves.

So, we have that aspect of the religion of it and they we have, quite frankly, the aspect of the religion of the Drug War that I refer to as the “sado-moralist” and sort of a word taken from sadomasochist but a sado-moralist is one who is so morally opposed to the use of drugs that they would rather see people suffer than have a system that actually works.

Dean Becker: (Sings) Suffer and learn. Yeah, that’s it

Pete Guither: Uh, hum.

Dean Becker: Once again were speaking to Pete Guither of Drug War Rant. While I was there at A&M, next door Moisés Naím was talking and he put forward a thought that maybe clarifies or exacerbates what you were just saying and that is that they did a study the 76% of Americans think that the Drug War is a failure and a similar number think we shouldn’t do anything to change it. (Laughs)

Dean Becker: (Laughs) Yeah that’s part of the problem, of course, with getting things to change the viewpoint of such a large population is like this boulder rolling downhill. We have to keep chipping away at it and starting to move in a new direction.

I think we have gotten to the point where we have made the people realize that what we’ve got is not working but we have been so hesitant to take that huge step of rather than trying to somehow fix prohibition, which is what everyone seems to do out there, “Well, if we just do a little less of this and a little more of this we can make this turkey work.”

We really have to go to that entire switch of, “No, it’s prohibition that is the problem and we have to take that whole new look.” that is the hardest part to make that change, I think that we’re seeing a lot of shifting in that direction. I’m pleased in the eight years that I have been doing this.

Back in the beginning, I would be thrilled if I would see an article that come out in favor of changing prohibition. I’s blog about it because there was an article. Now, there are four or five a day that are that way and I am sort of picking the better ones.

Dean Becker: Yeah.

Pete Guither: And that is nice to see.

Dean Becker: Yeah it is and Pete, we’ve got just about a minute left.

Pete Guither: Um hum

Dean Becker: I want to kind if wrap up with this one thought that Calderón was talking about the 40,000 kids that have been killed and said he said they should be in university or have a good job.

Pete Guither: Yeah.

Dean Becker: The money wasted on his drug war in Mexico is enormous, I’m sure but in the US we have arrested 39,000,000 of our kids, stigmatized the for life and have spent over a trillion dollars according to LEAP, $10 trillion have gone towards the terrorist, the cartels and the gangs and you’ve got about thirty seconds here for just a quick response and please share your website.

Pete Guither: We have 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisons population. We are going so far down the wrong path and it is going to take some real change and it is going take from the bottom up. It’s something I discuss quite a bit and I welcome everybody to come and check out the website. It’s just drugwarrant.com . We have a sofa there, you know, Pete’s couch, sort of like the old ad where you can go to discuss.

Dean Becker: We’re going to have to wrap it right there. Thank you so much and we’ll be in touch soon.

Pete Guither: Thank you.

Dean Becker: Alright, folks. I invite you to Incarceration Patterns of Africa and Latin America. It’s going to be in Texas Southern University, Friday April 15th, April 16th. If you want to learn more call: 713.313.0181. I’ll be speaking there as well. There’s no truth to this Drug War. It is a scam. Please, do you part to end this madness.

Prohibido istac evilesco!


For the Drug Truth Network, this is Dean Becker. Asking you to examine our policy of Drug Prohibition.

The Century of Lies.

This show produced at Pacifica Studios at KPFT, Houston.

Drug Truth Network programs, archived at the James A. Baker III Institute for Policy Studies.

Transcript provided by: Ayn Morgan of www.eigengraupress.com