Drug legalization and Donald Trump have given Vicente Fox's post-politician career new life, as the former Mexico president displayed in Phoenix on Saturday.
Fox answered questions at a news conference, then held an hourlong talk before hundreds of people at the Southwest Cannabis Convention and Expo, delighting them with his incessant Trump-bashing. Lobbing insults at Trump wasn't the only entertaining aspect of Fox's visit to Arizona, either. The ex-presidente had a lot to say about cannabis legalization, NAFTA, guns, and more.
A former Coca-Cola executive, Fox served from 2000 to 2006 and is probably the best-known Mexican ex-president in the United States. His election brought actual democracy to the government following 71 years of rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). In the last two years, his mockery and insults of Trump have helped make him a household name.
Here are Fox's 11 most memorable quotes and moments from the presser, speech, and on-stage Q&A with Channel 12 reporter Brahm Resnik:
11. While president, the former president helped the United States fight the War on Drugs with his friend and ally, Republican President George W. Bush.
Now, as he stated on Saturday, he believes prohibition is a "total, absolute failure" and that all drugs should be legalized. His primary reason for doing so: individual freedom.
10. Resnik asked Fox whether he had ever "inhaled. Fox then denied he's ever used cannabis, adding, "I get drunk with tequila."
9. Fox said that 60 percent of Mexicans support legalizing cannabis for all adults. But according to a 2015 phone survey in Mexico, 66 percent oppose cannabis legalization.
8. Mexico's current president legalized medical cannabis in June on a federal level, as Fox pointed out. Following next year's elections, he said, regulations will start to be formed that could create a medical-marijuana industry, complete with dispensaries and so much cultivation, the product will be exported to the United States. He assured the SWCC Expo crowd that it would be the good stuff, acknowledging that "the quality of cannabis grown in Mexico is awful."
In fact, he said it would be great for his country: "Imagine that Mexico captures all the talent of DACA. Beautiful. That would be the greatest thing could happen in Mexico."
6. According to Fox, if Trump unravels NAFTA, the "first consequence is 15 million direct jobs of U.S. citizens that would be lost. Because what Mexico buys from this nation accounts for that amount of jobs."
The second consequence, companies like GM, Chrysler, and Ford "would go bankrupt again as they did five years ago" and need taxpayer rescue. (Two out of three isn't bad: Ford didn't actually go bankrupt or take bailout cash like GM and Chrysler.)
5) Fox told the SWCC Expo audience that he didn't want to meet Trump. Later, he said he invited Trump to come to his hometown of San Cristobal "so that he has on opportunity to apologize [to Mexicans], because we are not rapists. We are not criminals."
4. The United States is to blame for Mexico's problem with illegal drugs and guns, Fox said. He also blamed South America for importing drugs.
"Don't generalize, saying that all drug trafficking in North America is run by Mexican cartels. We're not that smart," he said, a line that brought laughs from the audience.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Actually, authorities believe that most meth, heroin. and marijuana consumed in the United States is hecho en Mexico.
3. Don't hold back, Mr. President: During his talks, Fox called Trump "stupid," a "stupid guy," "a blind guy," "empty-headed," "tired," and "crazy."
2. Fox said he's coming out with a new book in three months: "Guess what I'm dealing with in that book? Trump!"
1. The former president uttered versions of his now-infamous, f-bombed-laced phrase no less than three times at the convention: "We are not paying for that fucking wall!"