Latin America Moves to Decriminalize Drugs

September 25, 2009

(ChattahBox)—In recent months, a paradigm shift has taken place in the way Latin American governments are decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of drugs, to free up law enforcement resources and prison space for drug traffickers. And supporters of similar decriminalization efforts in the United States, have interpreted Washington’s silence on the changes in drug laws in Latin America, as a hopeful sign.

Countries like Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina have realized that the war on drugs has failed to stem the tide of drug use or trafficking, and have decided to concentrate their resources to combat the organized crime associated with trafficking, while emphasizing prevention and treatment programs.

Mexico recently decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin for personal use, with countries like Brazil soon to follow suit.

Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of Norml noted the more common sense views on our nation’s drug policies under the Obama administration, believing the prior administration would have strongly objected to Mexico’s decriminalization law.

“If this were the prior administration they would have made hay out of it,” says Pierre. He referrers to the change, as “a generational evolution that transcends continents and ideologies.”

Indeed, the U.S. has taken steps to discontinue federal raids on medical marijuana facilities, and has made policy changes to put more emphasis on treatment and prevention programs as well.

However, it’s unlikely the decriminalization of marijuana or other drugs would garner sufficient political support in the U.S. in the near future.



One Response to “Latin America Moves to Decriminalize Drugs”

  1. Bill Harris on September 27th, 2009 9:51 am

    Wake up, people. Nothing short of liberty to cultivate and share what the earth brings forth will solve the problem.

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