I missed this nugget in the LA Times a couple of days ago:

Mexican President Felipe Calderon strongly opposes the California ballot measure that would legalize small amounts of marijuana, saying it reflects softening attitudes toward drug consumption in the U.S. that are undercutting efforts to control organized crime groups in Mexico.

And then:

Calderon, in an interview in Tijuana, said he was disappointed that the U.S. federal government, which for years has pushed Mexico to crack down on drug traffickers, has not done more to oppose the measure. "I think they have very little moral authority to condemn Mexican farmers who out of hunger are planting marijuana to feed the insatiable [U.S.] appetite for drugs," he said Thursday.

Exactly.

So which way do you want it, Calderon? You recognize that basic facts of the case—supply, demand, drug-enjoying American customers, poor farmers who can give their northern neighbors what they want. So legalization makes all the sense in the world, right?

But you're so fond of US drug-war subsidies and the Plan Mexico cash, that you can't stand the idea of legalization? Is that the problem? You actually prefer all the grenades, decapitations, and gun battles?

Is that what you're trying to tell us?

Old Vicente Fox has the right idea:

Calderon's predecessor, Vicente Fox, has made headlines by calling for legalization and regulation of all drugs as the best way to cripple the drug cartels economically. Fox recently said passage of Proposition 19 would be a "great step forward" and could "open the door to these ideas for us."

But then again, he wasn't running the country when the Plan Mexico dough came through. Maybe his calls for legalization are just sour grapes...

Or maybe he's just got the right idea.