Newsbrief: "No Legalization," Says Mexico Anti-Drug Official 7/3/03

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Mexican President Vicente Fox and some of his top advisors may have made some noises about drug legalization in the early days of his beleaguered administration, but those days have gone. The Fox administration has slipped into the US drug war's warm embrace, trumpeting the arrests or killings of "cartel" leaders and bemoaning the resulting violence as the remaining players jockey for position. It has also embarked on a high-publicity campaign against the retail drug trade in Mexico City. And just in case anyone still had any mistaken ideas about drug reform in Mexico, the country's anti-addiction head spoke out last week to make the government's position plain.

On June 26, National Anti-Addiction Commissioner Guido Belsasso used the opening of a new youth center in Mexico City to nay-say any talk of legalization. "The government of the republic is very clear on one thing, and that is that we are not going to legalize drugs," said Belsasso, according to an account in el Periodico de Hoy. "We are signatories to the three conventions of the United Nations, and those obligate us to not legalize drugs. It is absurd that this theme is being politicized by some political groups, and there are serious studies of what has happened when they try to decriminalize the consumption of certain substances, and the political parties that involved in this can say what they want to try to attract people, but it won't work," he said.

Belsasso was aiming his jab at the Mexico Posible Party, which has endorsed the legalization of marijuana and which participated in the Mexico City Million Marijuana March in May, but he also blamed "very strong economic interests behind the proposal to legalize marijuana and people in Canada and the United States who are promoting the campaigns to decriminalize its use for medical reasons," el Periodico de Hoy reported.

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Issue #294, 7/3/03 Editorial: Not Just in Texas | US Appeals Court Kills DEA Interpretive Rule Banning Hemp Foods, But More Battles Remain | British Cannabis Reform Delayed, Revised to Allow Arrests After Cops Complain | Canada Approves Safe Injection Site for Vancouver | Newsbrief: US Suspends Military Aid to Colombia, Others in International Criminal Court Scrap | Newsbrief: Colombian Court Orders Fumigation Halt -- US, Colombia Say No Way | Newsbrief: "No Legalization," Says Mexico Anti-Drug Official | Newsbrief: Another Pain Doc in the Drug War's Sights | Newsbrief: American Nurses Association Endorses Access to Medical Marijuana | Newsbrief: Connecticut Lawmakers Call for Sentencing Reform | Newsbrief: Delaware Cuts Sentences for Some Drug Crimes | Newsbrief: Poll Finds California Latinos Oppose Jailing Low-Level Drug Offenders | Bill Maher Benefit Event Monday Night, 7/7, Los Angeles | The Reformer's Calendar

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