Hello? Mexico on the Verge on Decriminalizing Drug Possession...

...and nobody north of the Rio Grande seems to have noticed. Last week, I wrote that the Mexican decrim bill had passed the Senate, but on the afternoon before we published that report, the bill also passed the Chamber of Deputies. Now it awaits only the signature of President Calderon. While a Dallas Morning News blogger wrote that it is unclear whether Calderon will sign the bill, it seems likely to me that he will. The bill, after all, was pushed by his ruling PAN party, and unlike 2006, when a similar bill passed only to be vetoed by then President Fox in the face of US threats and bluster, there have been no threats and bluster from Washington this time. And, of course, the situation in Mexico is much worse than in 2006, thanks largely to Calderon's war on the cartels. The bill is not great: The personal use quantities are tiny, and it allows for the states to prosecute low-level trafficking offenses (currently, that is the province of the feds, with the result being that being low-level traffickers are never tried because the federal prosecutors and courts are overwhelmed with serious trafficking cases). But it is decriminalization, and right on our border, not an ocean away, like Portugal. I'll be talking to people on both sides of the border this week about this bill and what it means and I'll have a feature article on it Friday. In the meantime, here's the lone Reuters article on these momentous events:
Mexico passes bill on small-scale drugs possession Fri May 1, 2009 8:39pm EDT MEXICO CITY, May 1 (Reuters) - Mexico's Congress has passed a bill decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of drugs, from marijuana to methamphetamine, as President Felipe Calderon tries to focus on catching traffickers. The bill, proposed by Calderon after an attempt by the previous government at a similar bill came under fire in the United States, would make it legal to carry up to 5 grams (0.18 ounces) of marijuana, 500 milligrams (0.018 ounces) of cocaine and tiny quantities heroin and methamphetamines. The lower house of deputies passed the bill late on Thursday. It already has been approved by the Senate and is expected to be signed into law by Calderon in the days ahead. Mexico's Congress passed a similar proposal in 2006 but the bill was vetoed by Calderon's predecessor, Vicente Fox, after Washington said it would increase drug abuse. The United States recently pledged stronger backing for Calderon's army-led war on drug cartels, whose turf wars have killed some 2,000 people so far this year in Mexico, as the drug violence is starting to seep over the border. The new bill also allows Mexican states to convict small-time drug dealers, no longer making it a federal crime to peddle narcotics, a move that should speed up those cases. U.S. President Barack Obama praised Calderon's drug war efforts in a visit to Mexico last month and promised more agents and southbound border controls to curb the flow of guns and cash to the cartels. (Reporting Miguel Angel Gutierrez; Editing by Bill Trott)
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Mexico decriminalization: Has Calderon signed?

Anyone know any updates about this? Also, are drugs only decriminalized for Mexican citizens? I'm wondering whether Americans will be allowed to legally do drugs in Mexico? If so, and they return and fail a drug test, will it be legal for their employers to fire them?

Calderon's signature?

Hola Amigos!
So, would someone out there please tell me when El Presidente signs off on this new bill and when will it go into effect, please?
Gracias,
Doc

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