Saturday, August 14, 2010
Christopher Fichtner is a psychiatrist and the former mental health director for the state of Illinois. In his new book, Cannabinomics: The Marijuana Policy Tipping Point http://www.cannabinomics.com , Fichtner predicts that marijuana policy is about to change radically. As Fichtner points out, three public policy trajectories converging. The medical marijuana movement is gaining momentum. People are increasingly waking up to the fact that drug prohibition creates more public health problems than it solves. And, in the same way that the Great Depression caused people to reprioritize how we spend our public dollars, the current economic crisis has got people thinking that bringing the biggest cash crop in the US out into the open might not be such a bad idea.
Reason.tv's Paul Feine sat down with Dr. Fichtner to learn more about the imminent marijuana policy tipping point.
The discussion comes as violence from competing drug cartels in the country continues to spiral out of control, claiming thousands of lives every year.
Felipe Calderon, Mexico's president, has said he is firmly against the legalization, arguing that it would only create "millions" of more drug addicts.
But Vicente Fox, the country's former president and member of Calderon's conservative National Action Party, has urged the government to legalize drugs in order to "break the economic structure that allows gangs to generate huge profits in their trade, which feeds corruption and increases their areas of power".
"We should consider legalizing the production, distribution and sale of drugs" because "radical prohibition strategies have never worked," he explained.
Al Jazeera's Franc Contreras reports from Mexico City, the capital.
[August 13., 2010]