Mexico City Residents React to President Obama's Re-Election and Marijuana Legalization

Diana Oliva Cave/Univision

As Mexico City residents prepare for a changing of the guard in their own country when President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto takes office on December 1st, they reacted mostly with enthusiasm to the re-election of President Barack Obama by their neighbors to the north.

Of those we interviewed, several felt optimistic that his re-election would bring new attitudes towards immigration reform and felt re-electing someone who represents a minority was a positive sign, offering hope for a decline in discrimination against Mexican immigrants. Others reacted to the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington considering the impact it could have on Mexico's drug war.

A recent report suggests that legalizing marijuana in Washington alone could cut into the profits of drug cartels to the tune of $1.37 billion, or 23% of the $6 billion industry.

Many believe that legalization in the two U.S. states was just a first step and that other states and countries, including Mexico, could follow suit.

Would that be a good idea? Maybe, maybe not: in a country where many believe that the United States' insatiable appetite for drugs is a major cause for Mexico's crime problem, some residents worry that the legalization in Colorado and Washington will only lead to more drug consumption, eventually leading to more drug cartel profits, competition and violence.

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“I think it would be fair to recognize their efforts, and grant them an immigration reform that would allow them to live legally in the United States.” Krauze asked Peña Nieto whether it was time for Mexico, which has millions of undocumented citizens living in the United States, to pressure the U.S. to move forward, he emphasized that immigration reform was an internal U.S. problem, in which the Mexican government did not want to interfere.