Uruguayan Deputies Say Legalize All Drugs

Even as Uruguay considers a groundbreaking proposal from President Jose Mujica to legalize state-regulated marijuana cultivation and sales, parliamentarians from most of the leading political factions in the country are calling on the government to go even further and legalize all drugs in a bid to blunt the power of and threat from illicit drug traffickers.

The comments came in interviews solicited by and published in the Uruguayan news weekly Busqueda and appeared in its November 22 issue.

The war on drugs has been "a resounding failure" because it has "fortified crime," said Independent Party Deputy Ivan Posada. Forty years of drug war has created a reality where there exist "true international enterprises dedicated to the traffic in drugs," which can only be effectively combated by "establishing the legalization of the traffic of all drugs," he said.

The legalization of marijuana sales and cultivation (use and possession are already legal in Uruguay) proposed by Mujica and his Broad Front (Frente Amplio) government is "doomed to failure" because it is only a half-measure and not a global strategy, Posada sniped.

The war on drugs approach "will fall sooner or later in this century," said Deputy Jose Bayardi of the Artigist Tendency (Vertiente Artiguista), a social democratic current within the Broad Front. "The only solution there is to defeat the drug trade is the legalization of all psychoactive drugs," he said.

"There will come a moment in which all the drugs that are today illegal -- heroin, cocaine, etc. -- will be administered in the same manner, with an informative pamphlet," said Bayardi, a former defense minister. "Then, the individual will take the responsibility for doing with them what he wishes. We are going down this path. Sooner rather than later, we will arrive, and then we will really be fighting the drug trade," he said.

The steps the government is taking to legalize and regulate marijuana sales and cultivation "are a beginning, a point of departure" on a path where "the state will regulate all drugs," said Broad Front Deputy Sebatian Sabini, who chairs the Commission on Addiction in the Uruguayan House of Representatives. "As a society, we aren't ready to discuss it, but in the long run we have to do it, also for public health reasons. We can carry the same analysis of the drug trade that leads us to legalize marijuana on to [cocaine] base, to cocaine," he said.

National Alliance Deputy Pablo Itturralde said what was needed first was a an educational campaign illuminating the dangers caused by drug abuse. "After that, if someone wants, he can consume what he will," he said.

Marijuana users aren't the problem, Itturalde said. "If there is a drug that is implicated in public safety, it is paste base," he said. "Marijuana users are peace and love people." [Ed: Paste base is also known as "pasta de cocaína," thought of similarly to crack cocaine, and is considered Uruguay's most worrisome drug problem.]

The leader of the House of Representatives, Deputy Jorge Orrico, also said that the way to fight the drug trade is to "legalize all drugs," although he caviled about paste base because of its negative effects. "Of all the other substances, I have no doubt because the business works in clandestinity. At the least, we can diminish the mafia," he said.

While the talk of legalization of all drugs cuts across the political spectrum in Uruguay, at this point it is only the legalization and regulation of marijuana commerce that is on the legislative agenda. But it sure looks like many Uruguayans are interested in looking further.

Montevideo
Uruguay
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

9) The recovery industry.

9) The recovery industry.  HUGE proponents of prohibition.

Military Industrial Complex

You missed the 2 biggest ones.

The Oil Barons and the War Profiteers.

The drug war took all the income for the rural sector and put it in an oil well and it destabilizes the whole planet making it look as though we actually need the US military to keep world peace when in fact it is all the result of the drug war. 

Just like methadone

There is NO reason why heroin, meth, coke and other "hard" drugs couldn't be legalized like methadone. When these drugs are cheaply available and of a guaranteed quality, overdoses, criminal activity to supply them, and crimes committed to get them will be a thing of the past. An addiction can be overcome, a conviction cannot!

jillian

interesting... are you a fan of opiates/opiate reform? its my number 1 interest, personally. If it's a matter of specific interest with you, id like to know.

 

personally, as a long time opiate purveyor - i do not like any opiods - as regards using them, myself. I truly hate methadone/methadose and find it to be completely unhelpful to anybody not opiate naive and methadone clinics a total waste of time. I hate buprenorphine (subs) far more but right now id say the thing i hate the most is naltroxene and those corrupt piece of trash doctors currently attempting to champion naltroxene. Opiods are good for keepipng withdrawals at bay, thats all. I've said it many times and will say it over and over, the only real way to do proper opiate maintenance here in the US is the way they do it in the UK and Europe, with proper opiates. Not necessarily exclusively heroin but oxy, roxi, dilaudid etc. etc. etc. I think methadone is a total sucky waste of time. I do totally understand the need for it sometimes tho when youve pretty much exhausted all other resources and have, temporarily, recourse for nothing else.

Reports that show Prohibition has failed:

 

 

http://idpc.net/publications/failure-regime-selected-publications

 

The Global Commission on Drug Policy:

http://www.globalcommissionondrugs.org/Documents.aspx

 

Reports that show alternative approaches of decriminalization and regulation are working:


http://idpc.net/publications/alternative-strategies-selected-publications

 

What we can learn from The Portuguese Decriminalization of All Illicit Drugs:

http://bjc.oxfordjournals.org/content/50/6/999.abstract

 

General report on drug law reform in practice:

http://www.tni.org/report/legislative-innovation-drug-policy

 

Prohibition by Numbers:

http://www.drugpolicy.org/facts/drug-war-statistics

 

Final Report of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy - "Break the Silence and Open A Debate":

http://www.drogasedemocracia.org/English/Destaques.asp?IdRegistro=8

 

Lessons for Creating Fair and Successful Drug Policies:

 

http://www.cato.org/pubs/wtpapers/greenwald_whitepaper.pdf

 

Transform's outstanding (free) book titled, "After The War On Drugs : Blueprints for Regulation" —provides specific proposals on how various drugs can be regulated in the real world:

 

http://www.tdpf.org.uk/blueprint%20download.htm

Gart's picture

Time to be serious

I couldn't agree more: it's an absurdity of the highest order to allow consumption and possession of all sort of drugs and at the same time criminalise their production and distribution. And what is valid for marijuana is equally valid for all drugs. No matter what drug we may have in mind, blind prohibition is not the answer—has never been.

Firstly, I would like to say that I oppose Prohibition and the War on Drugs unreservedly and welcome any measure aimed at recognising that the so called drug problem is a health issue, not a criminal one.

Secondly, the only way to manage it rationally and efficiently is to Legalise & Regulate the whole chain of the drugs market, i.e. production, distribution and consumption. I say manage, not solve, because there is no “magic bullet”: no matter what regulation regime one chooses, there will always be a price to pay. The task is to find the policies that minimise the costs.

Thirdly, unlike Europe, decriminalising the demand and criminalising the supply at the same time is not only irrational and ineffective, it is the worst of both worlds for drug producing and transit countries. More about this here: bit.ly/PlsIa1.

Gart Valenc

Twitter: @gartvalenc

I am really happy and excited

I am really happy and excited to see common sense being applied in at the very least one country in the world. The legalisation and regulation of drugs should happen as a matter of urgency as it is already overly evident that prohibition does not come anywhere close to succeeding in it's main aim which is supposedly to PROTECT people and MINIMISE harm from these substances. How can you expect to protect people from something that you exert no control over?!!
The prohibition of drugs via the UN Single Convention on Narcotics 1961 was the single most far-reaching and damaging policy that has ever been enacted.
It must be repealed if people truly value their freedom of choice and their inalienable right to put whatever substance they want into their own bodies so long  as they do not cause harm to others.

Religious Drug Freedom

Drug Prohibition in the USA is a product of conservative religious dogma, not medical or social science - 19th Century misplaced morality causing 21st Century mayhem.   Well, about 10% of US citizens don't believe the dogma, and no amount of persecution will change their minds. 

It's time we fought prohibition on the grounds of religious freedom.

loosening

Instead of loosening the drug laws the Conservatives have increased penalties. tery

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