Mexico has taken a bold and pragmatic step in how they will deal with the “drug problem” that currently is being felt in much of the industrialized world. Here are the provisions of the new drug law:
Drug Users: no arrests for personal possession of 1/2 gram of cocaine, 5 grams of marijuana, 50 milligrams of heroin, 40 milligrams of meth, or .15 milligrams of LSD. If caught with less than these amounts the police will give the person the address of the nearest rehab center and suggest that they visit. Hell, they don’t arrest small-time users anyway, instead they shake them down for a little bribe money.
Treatment: third time offenders get mandatory treatment
Dealers: Anyone with up to 1,000 times the legal amounts can be arrested by the state police. People with larger amounts would be deemed to be traffickers and handed over the the Feds. You don’t want to mess with the Feds.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that the never-ending “war on drugs” has been a colossal, expensive failure for over 40 years, both at home and abroad. The present system has filled the prisons in the US beyond capacity with pot smokers and has turned Mexico into a country being terrorized by the mighty drug cartels. This ain’t working, and my hat is off to President Calderon and the Mexican Congress for seeking a new direction.
Actually, the same bill was introduced in Mexico in 2006, but the Bush administration went into their predictable hand-wringing hysterics in protest, causing then-President Fox to back down on signing it. This time, the Obama administration has wisely refrained from drawing judgment, no doubt aware of how hypocritical it would appear to the rest of the world given the millions of drug users in the U.S.
I personally believe that this is just the first step by Mexico to eventually legalize and control the sale and use of coke and pot as the only means of driving a stake through the heart of the drug cartels. And I believe they would have huge support from the Mexican people if they saw this as the best way to defeat the powerful, ruthless cartels. Maybe the U.S. will learn a lesson and enough lawmakers will have the stones to do something similar. (Right)
Education and treatment work. Don’t believe me? Just ask the cigarette companies how business is in the U.S. these days.