Posted by: cgratton | March 26, 2009

Marijuana: The Cure to Mexican Drug Wars. Ironic? Maybe not…

With Mexican drug cartels continuing the violent drug battle south of the border, politicians are now forced to analyze alternative solutions.  One resolution now being seriously considered?  Legalizing it, goddammit!

It wasn’t breaking news in the states, but last week three former Latin American presidents met to call on the Mexican government to decriminalize marijuana.  The advocators— Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico, Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil and Cesar Gaviria of Colombia— believe that the violence will end when grass gets the legal green light.

The three men formed (and currently serve as co-presidents) on the Latin American Commission of Drugs and Democracy, a committee comprised of 17 of Latin America’s intellectual elite.  They have been studying the drug problem for a year now, and came to the thoroughly studied conclusion that the current strategy used to fight the War on Drugs is actually the culprit in itself.

In their final report, “Drugs and Democracy: Toward a Paradigm Shift,” the commission blames the current strategy of repression and criminalization for the resulting “failed war,” a war that has only increased the crime and drug use on the streets, the trafficking worldwide and the death toll at home and abroad.

The group, in Rio de Janeiro, blasted the current failing counter-narcotic strategies in place

The group, in Rio de Janeiro, blasted the current "failing" counter-narcotic strategies in place

The commission argues that the current taboo on drug legalization policy needs to be broken immediately. They believe that this discussion needs to begin now to prevent Latin America from falling further into a state of bloody disarray.

Some policies, according to the report, include creating social awareness and education programs, decriminalizing marijuana for personal use and medical use, and changing the status of drug addicts from “criminals” to “patients cared for by the public health system.”

Decriminalization of the region’s most widely used drug (marijuana), and a focus on social policy and “engaging civil society” may finally steady the turbulence, the commission says.

And they definitely need to do something radical.  The U.S. Joint Forces Command recently released a study warning that Mexico “could be in danger of a rapid and sudden collapse.”

Although many are saying this is a harsh overstatement, the turmoil and bloodshed cannot be denied.  And with Mexico and other Latin American countries getting such a bad rap these days, traveler avoidance is the last thing they need in a globally ailing economy.

A possible LEGAL reality

A possible LEGAL reality

Hey, if marijuana gets legalized, maybe Mexico can be the next pot-lovers go-to vacation spot?  Watch out Amsterdam…there may be a new “green” country in the works.

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