Not content with the recent domination of the US in soccer Mexico is also winning the race to embrace freedom, liberty, and drug war sanity. What caused Mexico to embrace a common sense approach to personal drug use instead of maintaining a US style “tuff-on-crime” approach?
Police corruption played a big part. In Mexico being a drug addict was a defense to possession of small quantities of drugs. Ergo, simple possession cases were rarely prosecuted after arrest. Meanwhile Mexican LEOs made great money shaking down users for cash.
We have a similar system in America. We waste billions prosecuting simple possession cases across our country. The State Jail system in Texas is a monument to this perpetual failure.
American LEOs are usually bribed by dealers not addicts (at least the ones that get caught are). Consensual crime enforcement has always been synonmous with corruption. In America we ignore these drug war exteranlities or blame them on users. The truth is that corruption and violence are the inevitable result of Prohibition.
Mexico decriminalizes small-scale drug possession
By MARK STEVENSON (AP) – 2 hours ago
MEXICO CITY — Mexico decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and heroin on Friday — a move that prosecutors say makes sense even in the midst of the government’s grueling battle against drug traffickers…
The new law sets out maximum “personal use” amounts for drugs, also including LSD and methamphetamine. People detained with those quantities no longer face criminal prosecution.
Espino del Castillo says, in practice, small users almost never did face charges anyway. Under the previous law, the possession of any amount of drugs was punishable by stiff jail sentences, but there was leeway for addicts caught with smaller amounts.
“We couldn’t charge somebody who was in possession of a dose of a drug, there was no way … because the person would claim they were an addict,” he said.
Despite the provisions, police sometimes hauled in suspects and demanded bribes, threatening long jail sentences if people did not pay.
“The bad thing was that it was left up to the discretion of the detective, and it could open the door to corruption or extortion,” Espino del Castillo said.
Anyone caught with drug amounts under the new personal-use limit will be encouraged to seek treatment, and for those caught a third time treatment is mandatory.
The maximum amount of marijuana for “personal use” under the new law is 5 grams — the equivalent of about four joints. The limit is a half gram for cocaine, the equivalent of about 4 “lines.” For other drugs, the limits are 50 milligrams of heroin, 40 milligrams for methamphetamine and 0.015 milligrams for LSD.
On a side note- I’m going to Mexico in 3 weeks for a much needed vacation. I’ll report back on whether this common sense measure turns Mexico into Sodom overnight. My guess, those in Mexico who wanted to use drugs and marijuana, were already using them. Maybe I’m wrong and everyone will be smoking crack when I arrive, but I doubt it.