Mexican President Proposes Decriminalizing Drug Use

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We covered this in The Drug War Chronicle, but I think it needs more discussion:

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Felipe Calderon, locked in a bloody battle with drug cartels, wants to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of street drugs in a plan likely to irk Washington.

Calderon, a conservative in power nearly two years, sent a proposal to Congress on Thursday that would scrap the penalties for drugs including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, opium and marijuana.

Under Calderon's plan, people carrying up to 2 grams (0.07 ounces) of marijuana or opium, half a gram of cocaine, 50 milligrams of heroin or 40 milligrams of methamphetamine would face no criminal charges.

Where shall I begin?

1. President Calderon himself has endorsed this. He is the golden boy of the U.S.-subsidized Mexican drug war and after accepting our financial support, he now does something certain to enrage the American Drug Czar.

2. Calderon’s predecessor, Vicente Fox, tried the same thing and backed down due to pressure from Washington, D.C. Now that Calderon has established his drug war credentials, he’s picking up where Fox left off. Obviously, Mexico intends to decriminalize simple possession and won’t stop until it is done.

3. The timing of this move appears designed to circumvent negative attention from Washington, D.C., which is horribly distracted right now for obvious reasons. I’ve been unable to find a response from the Drug Czar or anyone else. Amazing.

Mexico is plagued by drug trade violence, the likes of which we’ve never seen within our borders, and its political leadership is calling for an end to petty drug arrests. It won’t end the bloodshed – not even close – but it is a dramatic shift away from the U.S. drug war mentality that we must continuously pursue and arrest drug users in order to "win" the war on drugs. This is remarkable to say the least.
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Calderon smarter than most US drug policy groups

Reformers need to incorporate small gram amounts into their vocabulary instead of insisting on ounces of marijuana when discussing legalizing personal use.

Any group that insists on trying to legalize an ounce or more for personal use does not really care about the 800,000 arrested each year, the large majority of those arrests involve 7 grams or less of marijuana.

Let me spell it out. The "1 ounce or more" plan for personal use will never work outside of the most liberal bastions in the United States, like San Francisco, especially if you want to replace the prohibition system with a regulated market system.

Personal Marijuana Amount

A "personal" amount is probably not over an oz in my opinion. Although I would like to see a complete legalization, that won't happen soon either. So to decriminalize possession of personal amounts is the logical first step.

What is that amount? Well common bought amounts are anywhere from a gram to a half oz(about 14 grams) and sometimes over so I think 15 grams or less would probably be a good place to start. That way no kid who just bought himself a fresh bag is going to get fucked by the cops before he can smoke any and have over the personal possession limit. Obviously we want more but I just can't see that happening with these stubborn politicians. Hopefully change will come to the US soon.

Peace. Love. Freedom.

sizing issue

I do think that an O is a little big, but personally I find a half o perfect and if I were to have to switch to buying dimes i would spend a lot more money, although I would then be paying more taxes so I guess that's a kinda good thing

personal use

Many people smoke in excess of an ounce every week. I don't think these people are interested in going to the dealers house 2 or 3 times a day to support their habit in order to not be arrested. Many people buy a quarter pound or more just so they don't have to worry about going out and getting it on a regular basis. This amount is of course considered intent to distribute. Cannabis decriminalization will mean little if we're not permitted to possess at least a half ounce.

Compared to Cigarette Carton

A carton of cigs has about 136 grams to a carton (not including paper and filter). This is just an average, some might have more or less depending on brand. so an oz is far less than what you can buy legally. Funny you say only a half oz for marijuana but how many of you smoke cigs? that's just over a QP :) just to put it in perspective.

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