In August 2010, before a meeting of academics and representatives of civil society organisations, Mexican President Felipe Calderón declared that the legalisation of illicit drugs could contribute to reducing the power held by organised crime. He quickly added, however, that this was not an option that would be considered by his own administration.

His statements unleashed a series of comments from politicians, the media and many sectors of Mexican society that had until then remained silent. Among noticeable politicians’ remarks was the statement by former President Vicente Fox, who declared that the only way to solve the serious security problems faced by Mexico was to legalise illicit drugs. As such, he joined his own predecessor, Ernesto Zedillo, who, as a member of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, has pushed for drug policy reform in the region, particularly with regards to cannabis.

As we shall see in this paper, the drugs debate in Mexico is not a new topic for the political agenda. This document presents a general overview and analysis of the cannabis debate in Mexico.