As Mexico drowns in drug related bloodshed — suffering almost 12,000 murders in 2010 — it is perhaps unsurprising that government critics turn up their screaming that the war on drugs isn’t working. But it was a bit of a bombshell when former president Vicente Fox added his voice to the chorus. The cowboy-boot wearing leader, who ruled Mexico from 2000 to 2006, had once declared the “mother of all battles” against crime and rounded up drug kingpins. But before he left office, he had witnessed the first big spike in violence as the narcos retaliated. In August of 2010, evidence surfaced that his vision had changed when he wrote on his blog that prohibition wasn’t working. Now, in a recent interview with TIME in his hometown in Central Mexico, he explains that his views have moved on to the other end of the spectrum: favoring full-on legalization of production, transit and selling of prohibited drugs. Fox is most explicit about marijuana, but argues that the principle applied to all illegal drugs.