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The Journal Gazette

Monday, December 10, 2012 11:13 pm

AP Interview: Mexico pres will continue drug fight

The Associated Press

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto says he'll mount a "real fight" against production and trafficking of marijuana, despite its legalization in two U.S. states.

Pena Nieto says he opposes legalization and sees marijuana as a gateway to more harmful drugs.

Pena Nieto spoke to The Associated Press in an interview Monday, little more than a week after taking office.

He has proposed focusing on reducing violence rather than capturing top drug lords, a change from his predecessor, Felipe Calderon. Many call that an indication that drug gangs could be left alone as long as they don't attack civilians.

Murder, extortion and kidnapping skyrocketed under Calderon.

A top Pena Nieto aide said in November that Washington and Colorado votes for marijuana legalization complicate Mexico's efforts to fight smuggling of the drug.