Mexico – Legalization of Drugs – 16. 10



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Mexico – Legalization of Drugs – 8.16.10

Tasking: Stick: (9:15 AM EDT)




  • I'd like the who what when where on the Mexican calls for he legalization of dope

  • Fmr. Prez. Fox has called for it as well as some state governors.


Who:


  • Fmr. Mexican President Vicente Fox: [Wrote on a blog on Aug. 8, 2010 – This is what renewed this legalization news story – since Fox is a conservative and in the past has opposed legalization]

"Legalization does not mean that drugs are good ... but we have to see (legalization of the production, sale and distribution of drugs) as a strategy to weaken and break the economic system that allows cartels to earn huge profits," Fox wrote in a posting over the weekend. … "Radical prohibition strategies have never worked." … He suggested the army, which has been accused of rights abuses as they go after drug suspects across Mexico, should return to the barracks. "They are not prepared for police work," Fox wrote. Reuters

April 2010 - Another solution, and a controversial one, is the legalization of drugs. Former Mexican president Vicente Fox has been outspoken about this issue. “It's time to debate legalizing drugs; then maybe we can separate violence from what is a health problem,” said Fox in a recent visit to Santa Barbara, according to the Pacific Coast Business Times. News Register



  • Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Cesar Gaviria and Ernesto Zedillo, the former presidents of Brazil, Colombia and Mexico: [Note the WSJ article below and 3 fmr. presidents push for legalization last year really started many to seriously consider the legalization of drugs and pushed the dialogue/discussion to a new level]. [Their article was written in Feb. 2009]

"Prohibitionist policies based on eradication, interdiction and criminalization of consumption simply haven't worked," Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Cesar Gaviria and Ernesto Zedillo, the former presidents of Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, wrote in a Wall Street Journal editorial last year. Wall Street Journal (more below in the first article)




  • Opposition Party Chief Jesus Ortega, the head of the leftist Revolutionary Democratic Party. Kansas City Star



backed Fox’s calls for legalization and said prosecutors should examine the corrupt financial system. “The money of the cartels “isn’t stuffed under the mattresses of drug lords,” he said.


  • Current President Calderon – Wants to debate legalization of drugs, but personally opposes it.

"It is a fundamental debate," the president said, belying his traditional reluctance to accept any questioning of the military-focused offensive against the country's drug cartels that he launched in late 2006. "You have to analyze carefully the pros and cons and key arguments on both sides." The president said he personally opposes the idea of legalization. The Guardian




  • Analyst and write Hector Aguilar Camin

I'm not talking just about legalizing marijuana," analyst and write Hector Aguilar Camin said during the Tuesday session, "rather all drugs in general." The Guardian




  • Jorge Castañeda, a legalisation advocate and former foreign minister -

"Legalisation would render the war pointless as drugs would become just another product like tobacco or alcohol," Jorge Castañeda, a legalisation advocate and former foreign minister, told W Radio. He added that even if it did prompt an increase in drug use. "It is worth considering whether this is preferable to having 28,000 deaths." The Guardian




  • Edgardo Buscaglia, and expert in organised crime around the world –

argues that the recent diversification of the Mexican cartels into other criminal activities ranging from systematic extortion to people trafficking would give them ample reason to keep fighting each other, even if drugs were legal. "Legalising drugs would be good public policy," he said, "but it would not be a tool with which to combat organized crime." The Guardian




  • Jorge Chabat, a Mexican expert on drug cartels,

said that "in my opinion, legalize everything and regulate everything ... that could really affect the finances of the drug cartels, especially if the government were the supplier" of drugs. Chabat said marijuana remains an important source of income for the cartels. Tri-City Herald

  • Opposition Party – PSD

At least one party, the social democrat Partido Socialdemocrata (PSD) has placed legalization on its official platform, and members of one of the country's two main opposition parties--the center-left Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (PRD)--are floating their own legalization proposals. There are presently two active PRD bills to decriminalize marijuana: one at the federal level and one in Mexico City. American Prospect [good article on the history of the legalization debate in Mexico]


[Note: There is a split in the drug reform movement in Mexico - a fundamental ideological split between Mexico's two main reform groups. Unlike PRD and others who take a pragmatic approach to decriminalization, PSD and its supporters say reforming drug policy is as much about protecting the civil rights of consumers as it is about national security. "The PRD proposes the legalization of drugs only to combat drug trafficking, which I believe reveals, to a certain extent, its conceptual limitations [in thinking] about the problem; they have not yet understood the importance of defending consumers or of taking a civil-rights approach to this argument," Tinajero says.


  • Elsa Conde, one of four representatives of the PSD in the Chamber of Deputies

July 2009 - She voted against the bill that “decriminalize the possession of small quantities of most drugs, giving users the option of seeking treatment to avoid criminal prosecution while tightening penalties for street dealing. … worries that the law will further criminalize the "poor and unprotected. … this proposal will only serve to imprison more people and will not have any real impact on public safety or the supply of drugs," she explains. "This proposal is not about respecting the rights of consumers." Also American Prospect article



Aug. 2010 - said that the climate of violence that exists along the border demands that the governments of Barack Obama and Felipe Calderon draw up plans for legalizing marihuana use. Worldmeets.us


March 2010 - that marijuana use should no longer carry a criminal penalty. McClatchy


  • Mexico's third-richest tycoon, billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego, who controls broadcaster TV Azteca



March 2010 - said Mexico should legalize drugs. McClatchy


  • Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Chamber of Deputies, Porfirio Munoz Ledo

August 2010 - spoke that day of the necessity of legalizing all drugs - and not only marijuana." Worldmeets.us




  • Businessman and president of the organization ‘Mexico United Against Crime,’ Eduardo Gallo,

August 2010 - Proposed to open the debate on the legalization of marijuana as a plan B, if the current government’s strategy does not work or require additional measures. Speaking at the first session of the Security Dialogue, Gallo said, though he has been branded as crazy for his position on this issue, it is important to consider all options, and thus, to measure how big would be the range of possibilities regardless of the taboos, and of not to remain stagnant. Mexican News Website NSS Oaxaca




  • Mexican Cardinals Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City and Juan Sandoval Iniguez of Guadalajara

August 2010 - did not express support for drug legalization but called for the issue to be studied and for Mexico to learn from the experiences of other countries. ... endorsed a proposal by President Felipe Calderon to open a debate on the merits of drug legalization. U.S. Catholic.org





  • Mexico's ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan

told CBS's Face the Nation that legalizing marijuana could potentially quell ongoing border violence. "This (legalization) is a debate that needs to be taken seriously – that we have to engage in on both sides of the border," he said. Norml.org




  • The mayor of San Pedro Garza García, in the state of Nuevo León, Mauricio Fernández Garza (past candidate for Nuevo Leon Governor, former Senator and businessman directly related to the Fernández Ruiloba wealthy and prominent family)

January 2010 - repeated his call for the legalization of drugs as a way to combat the obscene profits enjoyed by the naro-traffickers and diminish the effects of organized crime that is tearing Mexico apart … Fernández Garza spoke before the students of the University of Monterrey, arguing that prohibition of drugs does more harm than good, that they cannot be regulated and illegal drugs are sold to adults and children alike. He sees this as incongruous because if the reason is the mind altering and dangerous nature of drugs as the reason for their prohibition then there are solvents and other dangerous household chemicals readily available that should also be banned. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) blog



Articles/Reports:


The War on Drugs Is a Failure

We should focus instead on reducing harm to users and on tackling organized crime.


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By FERNANDO HENRIQUE CARDOSO, CéSAR GAVIRIA and ERNESTO ZEDILLO


The war on drugs has failed. And it's high time to replace an ineffective strategy with more humane and efficient drug policies. This is the central message of the report by the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy we presented to the public recently in Rio de Janeiro.

[commentary]AP

(A soldier stands next to packages containing marijuana at an army base in Cali, Colombia, August 2008.)



Prohibitionist policies based on eradication, interdiction and criminalization of consumption simply haven't worked. Violence and the organized crime associated with the narcotics trade remain critical problems in our countries. Latin America remains the world's largest exporter of cocaine and cannabis, and is fast becoming a major supplier of opium and heroin. Today, we are further than ever from the goal of eradicating drugs.

Over the last 30 years, Colombia implemented all conceivable measures to fight the drug trade in a massive effort where the benefits were not proportional to the resources invested. Despite the country's achievements in lowering levels of violence and crime, the areas of illegal cultivation are again expanding. In Mexico -- another epicenter of drug trafficking -- narcotics-related violence has claimed more than 5,000 lives in the past year alone.

The revision of U.S.-inspired drug policies is urgent in light of the rising levels of violence and corruption associated with narcotics. The alarming power of the drug cartels is leading to a criminalization of politics and a politicization of crime. And the corruption of the judicial and political system is undermining the foundations of democracy in several Latin American countries.

The first step in the search for alternative solutions is to acknowledge the disastrous consequences of current policies. Next, we must shatter the taboos that inhibit public debate about drugs in our societies. Antinarcotic policies are firmly rooted in prejudices and fears that sometimes bear little relation to reality. The association of drugs with crime segregates addicts in closed circles where they become even more exposed to organized crime.

In order to drastically reduce the harm caused by narcotics, the long-term solution is to reduce demand for drugs in the main consumer countries. To move in this direction, it is essential to differentiate among illicit substances according to the harm they inflict on people's health, and the harm drugs cause to the social fabric.



In this spirit, we propose a paradigm shift in drug policies based on three guiding principles: Reduce the harm caused by drugs, decrease drug consumption through education, and aggressively combat organized crime. To translate this new paradigm into action we must start by changing the status of addicts from drug buyers in the illegal market to patients cared for by the public-health system.

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We also propose the careful evaluation, from a public-health standpoint, of the possibility of decriminalizing the possession of cannabis for personal use. Cannabis is by far the most widely used drug in Latin America, and we acknowledge that its consumption has an adverse impact on health. But the available empirical evidence shows that the hazards caused by cannabis are similar to the harm caused by alcohol or tobacco.

If we want to effectively curb drug use, we should look to the campaign against tobacco consumption. The success of this campaign illustrates the effectiveness of prevention campaigns based on clear language and arguments consistent with individual experience. Likewise, statements by former addicts about the dangers of drugs will be far more compelling to current users than threats of repression or virtuous exhortations against drug use.

Such educational campaigns must be targeted at youth, by far the largest contingent of users and of those killed in the drug wars. The campaigns should also stress each person's responsibility toward the rising violence and corruption associated with the narcotics trade. By treating consumption as a matter of public health, we will enable police to focus their efforts on the critical issue: the fight against organized crime.

A growing number of political, civic and cultural leaders, mindful of the failure of our current drug policy, have publicly called for a major policy shift. Creating alternative policies is the task of many: educators, health professionals, spiritual leaders and policy makers. Each country's search for new policies must be consistent with its history and culture. But to be effective, the new paradigm must focus on health and education -- not repression.



Drugs are a threat that cuts across borders, which is why Latin America must establish dialogue with the United States and the European Union to develop workable alternatives to the war on drugs. Both the U.S. and the EU share responsibility for the problems faced by our countries, since their domestic markets are the main consumers of the drugs produced in Latin America.

The inauguration of President Barack Obama presents a unique opportunity for Latin America and the U.S. to engage in a substantive dialogue on issues of common concern, such as the reduction of domestic consumption and the control of arms sales, especially across the U.S.-Mexico border. Latin America should also pursue dialogue with the EU, asking European countries to renew their commitment to the reduction of domestic consumption and learning from their experiences with reducing the health hazards caused by drugs.

The time to act is now, and the way forward lies in strengthening partnerships to deal with a global problem that affects us all.

Mr. Cardoso is the former president of Brazil. Mr. Gaviria is a former president of Colombia. Mr. Zedillo is a former president of Mexico.


Mexico looks to legalisation as drug war murders hit 28,000


President joins calls for debate after figures reveal extent of violence since launch of military offensive against cartels in 2006

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sinaloa mexico drug war victimsMurders in Mexico's drug wars are becoming increasingly gruesome. Photograph: AP

Mexico's president, Felipe Calderón, has joined calls for a debate on the legalisation of drugs as new figures show thousands of Mexicans every year being slaughtered in cartel wars.

"It is a fundamental debate," the president said, belying his traditional reluctance to accept any questioning of the military-focused offensive against the country's drug cartels that he launched in late 2006. "You have to analyse carefully the pros and cons and key arguments on both sides." The president said he personally opposes the idea of legalisation.

Calderón's new openness comes amid tremendous pressure to justify a strategy that has been accompanied by the spiralling of horrific violence around the country as the cartels fight each other and the government crack down. Official figures released this week put the number of drug war related murders at 28,000.

Until recently the government regularly played down the general impact of the violence by claiming that 90% of the victims were associated with the cartels, with the remainder largely from the security forces. In recent months it has started to acknowledge a growing number of "civilian victims" ranging from toddlers caught in the cross fire to students massacred at parties.

Momentum behind the idea that legalisation could be part of the solution has been growing since three prominent former Latin American presidents signed a document last year arguing the case.

César Gaviria of Colombia, Fernando Cardoso of Brazil and Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico urged existing governments to consider legalising marijuana as a way of slashing cartel profits.

This year Mexico's national congress began a debate on the possibility that resurfaced again this week during a series of round table discussions between the Calderón, security experts, business leaders and civic groups.

The "Dialogue for Security: Evaluation and Strengthening" is part of a new government effort to counter the growing perception in Mexico that the president's drug war strategy is a disaster.

"I'm not talking just about legalizing marijuana," analyst and write Hector Aguilar Camin said during the Tuesday session, "rather all drugs in general."

After accepting the need to directly address the proposal, Calderón made it clear he did not support it. "It requires a country to take a decision to put several generations of young people at risk," he said, citing a likely increase in consumption triggered by lower prices, greater availability and social acceptability.

He added that the predicted "important economic effects by reducing income for criminal groups" would be limited by the integration of Mexican drug trafficking into international markets where drugs remain largely underground.

Calderón did not mention current moves to soften drug laws in the US, including a planned vote in California in November on an initiative that would allow marijuana to be sold and taxed. Nor did he address the home grown argument that legalisation would remove the roots of the violence raging in the country.

"Legalisation would render the war pointless as drugs would become just another product like tobacco or alcohol," Jorge Castañeda, a legalisation advocate and former foreign minister, told W Radio. He added that even if it did prompt an increase in drug use. "It is worth considering whether this is preferable to having 28,000 deaths."

The new death toll, which was not broken down, is significantly higher than the informal counts kept by newspapers. Milenio newspaper put the number of drug-related deaths in July at 1,234.

Some leading critics of Calderón's strategy, however, do not believe legalisation is the key to reining in the cartels and the violence, preferring to emphasize the need to increase efforts to go after money laundering and political corruption.

Edgardo Buscaglia, and expert in organised crime around the world, argues that the recent diversification of the Mexican cartels into other criminal activities ranging from systematic extortion to people trafficking would give them ample reason to keep fighting each other, even if drugs were legal. "Legalising drugs would be good public policy," he said, "but it would not be a tool with which to combat organized crime."




























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Latin America's Legalization Push

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As drug violence rages, Mexico takes the lead on policy reform.




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Christopher Moraff | July 6, 2009




A call for drug policy-reform is echoing across Latin America, where a decades-long, U.S.-sponsored battle against drug production and distribution has fostered a climate of fear, insecurity, and death. Throughout the region, former and current political leaders have allied with academics, medical professionals, and community activists to issue an appeal for a multinational dialogue on alternatives to the current drug war, including a possible end to drug prohibition.

In February, the multidisciplinary Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy (co-chaired by former Presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil, Cesar Gaviria of Colombia, and Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico) called the drug war a "failure" and issued a groundbreaking report urging other governments in the region--including the United States--to rethink prohibition policy. More recently, on a May 2009 trip to Atlanta, where he gave the commencement address at Emory University, former President Vicente Fox of Mexico told an interviewer that the time has come to "discuss and assess the possibility" of legalizing drugs.

Nowhere is the sense of urgency more acute than in Mexico, where President Felipe Calderon's ongoing battle against the drug cartels has left parts of the country in a near perpetual state of combat. According to Milenio, a Mexican media association, the campaign has claimed more than 10,000 lives since December 2006, when Calderon deployed the military to help federal police in their fight against the cartels.

The death toll includes countless civilians, and Mexico's National Human Rights Commission says the drug war has led to an exponential surge in reported cases of official abuse. Increasingly, human-rights activists are drawing a direct link between drug prohibition and human-rights violations. "Without a doubt, rethinking the criminalization of drug use would be a very important long-term strategy to improving the serious human-rights situation that Mexico is facing today," says Ana Paula Hernandez, a Mexico City-based human-rights activist and political consultant. Mexico's opposition parties are hoping to capitalize on the country's mounting impatience with Calderon's struggle against narcotic trafficking and its bloody side effects to regain seats in the legislature from the president's party, the Partido Accion Nacional (PAN). As the Prospect went to press, midterm elections--scheduled for July 5--were gearing up to be, in part, a referendum on the president's drug policies. Up for grabs are all 500 seats in Mexico's lower House--the Chamber of Deputies--as well as governorships in six states and hundreds more positions in state legislatures and city halls. At least one party, the social democrat Partido Socialdemocrata (PSD) has placed legalization on its official platform, and members of one of the country's two main opposition parties--the center-left Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (PRD)--are floating their own legalization proposals. There are presently two active PRD bills to decriminalize marijuana: one at the federal level and one in Mexico City.

According to journalist Dan Feder, who covered the Mexican legalization movement extensively from 2002 until 2004, representatives of nearly every political party in Mexico have proposed legalizing drugs at one time or another. The country's first legalization bill was introduced in 1998 by PAN Senator Maria del Carmen Bolado del Real. But Feder says it wasn't until the 2000 presidential election--which saw the end of Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) supremacy in Mexican politics and the election of PAN's Vicente Fox--that a dialogue on drug-policy reform entered mainstream political discourse. By the 2003 midterm elections, new parties like Mexico Posible--a forerunner of PSD--and progressive members of PRD were openly advocating the legalization of marijuana.

Today, reform advocates populate every level of Mexican society and have hosted forums on drug legalization for universities, city councils, and, recently, the federal legislature. Last October, President Calderon himself--a dedicated social conservative--sent a proposal to the Mexican Senate that would decriminalize the possession of small quantities of most drugs, giving users the option of seeking treatment to avoid criminal prosecution while tightening penalties for street dealing. The so-called Ley de Narcomenudeo was passed by both houses of Congress in late April and at press time was awaiting the president's signature.

Advocates of legalization in Mexico greeted the measure with marked skepticism. Alejandro Madrazo Lajous, a Mexico City-based attorney who advises the reform community, says that while the current bill can theoretically be called decriminalization, in practice authorities maintain inordinate discretion over how it's applied. "It's not actually decriminalization insofar as the conduct is still considered a crime," he says. "Technically the crime still has to be reported and investigated, but it stops there and never reaches court." Instead, Lajous explains, after a first encounter with police, users are referred to public-health authorities who are empowered to make a determination of addiction (farmacodependencia) and recommend treatment. After a third police encounter, addicts will be compelled to enter treatment; if they refuse or fail to complete the program they face prosecution. Though compelled treatment should apply only to addicts, Lajous says that since farmacodependencia will be predicated on the vague standard of "showing any symptoms of dependency," he suspects federal authorities will try to send everyone to treatment upon a third report.

Rather than representing an enlightened, treatment-oriented approach to drug use, critics say the new law is more akin to a similar proposal, floated by President Fox in 2004, to create a legal distinction between users and traffickers--not as a public-health initiative but as a necessary step to enforcing stricter penalties against low-level dealers.

"Basically, Fox said that it was important not only to prosecute the big drug barons but also to fight the petty traders who sell retail," explains Jorge Hernandez Tinajero, director of the drug-policy reform group Colectivo por una Politica Integral Hacia las Drogas (CUPIHD). "But they realized that to enable such a thing they needed to determine who is a small dealer and who is a consumer, [so] Fox proposed establishing quantities of certain drugs to be considered legal for personal possession while tightening, by far, the penalties for those who violate."

By 2006, Fox's proposal had passed both houses of the Mexican Congress before the president himself vetoed the bill, allegedly under U.S. pressure.

Like Fox's proposal, the Calderon bill includes strict mandatory minimums for street-level dealing, and for the first time allows undercover police to make street buys from dealers. The day after the measure passed the Chamber of Deputies, CUPIHD released a statement calling the law a half measure that could potentially do more harm than good. "Nobody can say that Calderon's proposal is an initiative to decriminalize drug use," Tinajero says. "If a consumer is caught by the authorities he has two options: either declare himself an addict and be assigned to a rehabilitation center and be 'cured,' or be declared a drug trafficker and go through a legal process that can lead to imprisonment. In reality the Calderon proposal will strengthen the war on drugs, especially against consumers."

Elsa Conde, one of four representatives of the PSD in the Chamber of Deputies and the sponsor of a recent congressional forum on marijuana reform, voted against the bill and worries that the law will further criminalize the "poor and unprotected." Given the tiny "legal" quantities proposed---5 grams for marijuana, a half gram for cocaine, and even smaller amounts of heroin and methamphetamines--Conde says more users and addicts are likely to be labeled dealers and subjected to the harsher penalties that the law mandates. "We didn't support this [bill] because while we agree that consumers and traffickers must be adjudicated differently, this proposal will only serve to imprison more people and will not have any real impact on public safety or the supply of drugs," she explains. "This proposal is not about respecting the rights of consumers."

Her argument underscores a fundamental ideological split between Mexico's two main reform groups. Unlike PRD and others who take a pragmatic approach to decriminalization, PSD and its supporters say reforming drug policy is as much about protecting the civil rights of consumers as it is about national security. "The PRD proposes the legalization of drugs only to combat drug trafficking, which I believe reveals, to a certain extent, its conceptual limitations [in thinking] about the problem; they have not yet understood the importance of defending consumers or of taking a civil-rights approach to this argument," Tinajero says.

Accepting the validity of a pragmatic argument for ending drug prohibition, one must still question how much of an impact even full legalization in Mexico would have on drug violence so long as drugs remain illegal in the U.S. Because American demand will continue to fuel a market for cross-border narcotics traffic, cartel wars over lucrative drug routes are likely to continue regardless of the legal status of drugs in Mexico.

Ricardo Sala, director of the reform group Convivencia y espacio publico, A.C., concedes that under a legalization scenario traffickers will still try their best to reach the U.S. market, but he says regulation will give Mexican authorities more control over how and where drugs are produced and distributed in the country. "Legalization should mean regulation: a better control of drugs and drug availability," he says. "If the Mexican state has a better control of drug production, transportation and commerce, then it will be more difficult for illegal trade to make it all the way from the fields or through Mexican territory up to the northern border."



In April, President Barack Obama tapped U.S. Attorney Alan Bersin to serve as the nation's first "border czar" and has pledged to send an additional 500 federal agents to the U.S.-Mexico border this year in response to drug violence. That's on top of the estimated $700 million in aid, most of it to support law-enforcement efforts, earmarked for Mexico in 2009. But even with an end to prohibition now being discussed at the highest levels of government in Mexico, reform advocates on both sides of the border admit that any real progress on legalization will still require stronger support from one of the major parties. And that's unlikely to happen without a change of policy in the United States.





Drug legalization debate heats up


Jueves, 5 de Agosto de 2010

in mexico, political parties debate the possibility of legalizing drugs.BY VÍCTOR MAYÉN
MEXICO CITY – Federal lawmakers disagree about a possible debate on drug legalization. The opposition supports the decision while the PAN thinks Mexico isn’t ready for such a discussion.
The National Action Party (PAN) politician Francisco Ramírez Acuña, president of the Chamber of Deputies Board, said that Mexico is not prepared for a discussion about drug legalization because it lacks the educational awareness needed to understand the complexities of the issue.
“I think we need to wait and not feel pressured by the circumstances. First, we need to find a solution to organized crime... and bring tranquility and peace to the country,” he said.
Carlos Navarrete Ruiz, coordinator of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) in the Senate, applauded Calderón’s proposal and said the debate was indispensable to the country.
“There are those in favor and against (the debate). I think the presidential proposal is positive because we would be able to understand the implications and practical effects of the measure... Social organizations, specialists, academics, lawmakers and citizens should all give their opinions,” Navarrete said.
Francisco Rojas Gutiérrez, coordinator of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), also supported the debate.
“Mexican society should be open to debates of all topics. We should not refuse to discuss delicate matters,” he said.
Gustavo Madero Muñoz, coordinator of the PAN in the Senate, said “legalizing drugs, starting with marijuana, should not be taken lightly as if it was a magical solution that would end the violence the following day.”
Emilio Berlie Belaunzarán, Yucatán’s archbishop, is against drug legalization because “it has not solved anything” in the countries were drugs are legal.
Buying and using marijuana is legal in the Netherlands; its use is decriminalized in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Spain and Portugal. However, it is considered a crime in Chile, Norway, Finland, Sweden and China, where the punishment can go from incarceration to mandatory rehabilitation.


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