Mexico debates marijuana legalization

Mexican lawmakers opened a debate this week on the legalization of marijuana as part of a possible strategy to tackle the country’s powerful drug cartels. Javier González Garza, leader of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) bloc in Congress, has come out in support of the proposed legalization measure, and said cannabis must be considered apart from drugs such as cocaine and heroin.

Mexico’s Congress three years ago passed a bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of drugs but, following pressure from the US, then-President Vicente Fox vetoed the legislation. President Felipe Calderón’s government has signaled that it wants to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs. (AFP, April 15; El Economista, April 13)

In Washington, the Drug Enforcement Administration reacted harshly to the proposal. “It would be a failed startegy…as much for the United States as Mexico,” said DEA administrator Michelle Leonhart to Mexico’s La Jornada. DEA intelligence chief Anthony Placido added: “The legalization of drugs in Mexico, as anywhere else, will lead to more misery, with addiction and organized crime moving to other areas.” (Quotes translated back into English from Spanish.) (La Jornada, April 15)

See our last post on Mexico’s narco wars.

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  1. Clueless DEA Statements

    Says Agent Mario Escalante, “We’re looking at the month of March, just averaging over 4400 pounds of marijuana a day.”

    That’s right, last month 4,450 pounds of weed was seized here every day.

    By here, we mean the Tucson Sector, the biggest and busiest Border Patrol sector in the United States. So far this year, agents in the Tucson Sector have seized 597 thousand pounds of marijuana. That shatters the year to date total by 150 thousand pounds.

    And the trend’s not slowing down either. March marked the highest total ever for a single month. And that 138 thousand pounds, once again, translates into about 4,450 pounds seized here every day.

    Winning that drug war, huh?

    How can DEA administrator Michelle Leonhart and DEA intelligence chief Anthony Placido be so far from …reality? …sanity? …reasoned discussion? 4,450 lbs every day from ONE check point! Clearly, the current strategy isn’t working…isn’t even close to being adequate…isn’t reducing demand or supply even a little bit. We are spending money that we have to borrow from China to chase smoke down a rabbit hole. Prohibition isn’t and has never worked. The DEA isn’t working, has a failed strategy, refuses to understand their ineptitude, and should be disbanded!

    1. Re: Clueless DEA Statements
      It is infuriating to see politics and policies adversely affecting so many American lives having not been based on logic. There are only two reasons to agree with this prohibition of Marijuana: 1) You’ve been dooped into believing that legalization somehow equals avocation and are limited by the bounded rationality that keeps you from questioning the information you’ve been forced fed; or 2) You’re crooked. That’s it. There are NO other options.

      With that being said, maybe we should be questioning the motives of Mr. Leonhart more loudly. Who’s protecting our freedoms? This country is backtracking, and people like this guy are willing to put fuel on the fire to further their careers. It’s not American. It’s not right. It’s not what I served to protect.

      1. We hate to tell you…
        …but exploiting puritanism and invented social anxieties to further your career and bureaucracy is as American as apple pie.

        1. as american as apple pie…
          as american as apple pie…

          Capitalism doesnt discriminate against drugs. Where there is a demand there will always be a supply.

          It’s not drugs that are destroying the country, its greed.

          1. thats true its not Marijuana
            thats true its not Marijuana destroying this country it’s greed, but greed is destroying the world as a whole. Unfortunately capitalism is like a safe haven for greed, which is most evident here in America where we 8% of the population controls 48% of the worlds wealth. Just look at what American companies do to the world; Walmat, Mcdonalds, GMC, Bank of America, etc. companies like these go into other countries and monopolize the market like cancer slowing growing bigger, companies like Walmart and McDonalds have higher economies than countries, or they generate more money than countries to put it another way. And this will continue in a Capitalist system because its not a fair system. The people who run this country aren’t working class proliteriates with working class problems, they’re people with 3 yatchs, a summer home in cancun, a mansion in the hills, a 08 benz collecting dust in their 5 car garage, a private jet and pilot, and with multiple trust funds! thats were the problems start with this country not drugs, and ecspecially not Marijuana!

  2. I can’t stop my skepticism
    I can’t stop my skepticism related to marijuana legalization in Mexico. Things are a little bit too tense in there, and it makes me wonder why didn’t they legalized the drug before? Obviously there are few hidden interests that we are not supposed to know about.
    Gerrard, Cliffside Malibu

    1. What rat do you smell here?
      We’re not getting it. They haven’t legalized before because things have not reached this degree of desperation before. Things are so out of control in Mexico that even Calderón, having exhausted every other option, is trying out the right thing. What other explanation is there?

  3. Update
    By the way, Calderón signed the decrim bill into law in August—and it made few stateside headlines, and registered not a peep of protest from the Obama administration. (Time, Aug. 26; AP, Aug. 21)