Mexico Legalizes Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroin
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BOGOTA, Colombia – Mexico has passed a sweeping bill legalizing the possession of small quantities of almost all illegal drugs, including heroin and cocaine.
The regime, likely to be one of the most liberal in the world, is designed to avoid clogging prisons with drug addicts, allowing police to go after big-time dealers.
Under the bill, it would be legal to possess 25 milligrams of heroin, five grams of marijuana, half a gram of cocaine, as well as small amounts of LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, amphetamines, and a hallucinogenic cactus, peyote.
All that remains is for President Fox to sign the bill into law, a certainty despite American reservations, as it was he that proposed the legislation in 2004.
“This law gives police and prosecutors better legal tools to combat drug crimes that do so much damage to our youth and children,” his spokesman said.
While unhappy about any law that made the availability of drugs more widespread and fearing a massive flow of drug tourists heading south, America has avoided direct condemnation of the bill.
The new Mexican bill closes legal loopholes that have allowed drug users to be prosecuted while dealers walk free.
It will allow local judges and the police to decide whether a person should be prosecuted.
Even those caught with small amounts of drugs, legal under the new law, will have to go before a judge, prove they are addicts and seek treatment.
The sale of drugs or their use in public would still be illegal.
“We are not authorizing the consumption of drugs,” one of the bill’s sponsors, Jorge Zermeno, of the ruling National Action Party, said.
“We are combating it and recognizing that there are addicts that require special treatment. We cannot close our eyes, nor fill our jails with addicts.”
The bill comes amid a backdrop of escalating drug related violence that claimed more than 1,500 lives last year. The major drugs trafficking organizations, the Gulf, Sinaloa, Tijuana, and Juarez cartels, are battling for territorial control and a bigger slice of the $11 billion Mexican drugs trade.
In one of the most disputed areas, the city of Nuevo Laredo, four undercover policemen were killed last month, while in Acapulco, better known for its beaches, two police officers who had been involved in antidrug operations were found decapitated, their heads placed alongside a sign reading: “So that you learn to respect.”