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105 items
  1. Towards the Second Latin American Conference on Drug Policy

    02 August 2010
    Other news

    Latin America is trembling. The recent set of discussions and proposals about alternatives to drug users´ penalization just went one step further with the ruling of the Supreme Court of Argentina. The Court acquitted a “mule” who was sentenced after he was denounced while seeking medical attention. The new strategy adopted at the 47th session of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) was the second positive sign in this area, as the OAS explicitly pronounced in favour of respecting human rights in the policies of the region.

  2. Obama Signs Drug Parity Law

    Peter Baker
    04 August 2010
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    President Obama signed legislation on Tuesday reducing sentencing disparities between those caught with crack and those arrested with powder cocaine. The legislation was a compromise reached by Democrats and Republicans who agreed that the old law imposed unduly harsh sentences for crack violations, which especially affected minorities, compared with powder cocaine violations. Under the old law, a person caught with five grams of crack received a mandatory five years in prison, while a person caught with powder cocaine had to have 500 grams to merit the same term. The new law reduces the 100-to-1 disparity to 18-to-1.

  3. presidentemexico

    Mexico looks to legalisation as drug war murders hit 28,000

    04 August 2010
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    Mexico's president, Felipe Calderón, has joined calls for a debate on the legalisation of drugs as new figures show thousands of Mexicans every year being slaughtered in cartel wars. "It is a fundamental debate," the president said, belying his traditional reluctance to accept any questioning of the military-focused offensive against the country's drug cartels. "You have to analyse carefully the pros and cons and key arguments on both sides." The president said he personally opposes the idea of legalisation.

  4. Mephedrone found not guilty, but the next legal high may be a killer

    06 August 2010
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    The mephedrone scare started at the end of 2009 when newspapers and the BBC reported that Gabrielle Price, a 14-year-old girl from Brighton, had died after taking the drug. The story was based on rumour and police statements. The hysteria over mephedrone is a classic example of indulgent moral outrage at the expense of a common-sense harm reduction strategy.

  5. Why the US and Latin America could be ready to end a fruitless 40-year struggle

    08 August 2010
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    Mexico's president Felipe Caldéron is the latest Latin leader to call for a debate on drugs legalisation. And in the US, liberals and right-wing libertarians are pressing for an end to prohibition. Forty years after President Nixon launched the 'war on drugs' there is a growing momentum to abandon the fight.

  6. The problem is more than just the substances, it's the prohibition itself

    Maria Lucia Karam
    09 August 2010
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    Maria Lucia Karam, a retired Brazilian judge, argues that drugs should be legalised - but regulated. Every country that has provided a glimpse of what a regulated future might look like has experienced lowered rates of death, disease, crime and addiction.

  7. Permitir uso inhibe adicciones

    09 August 2010
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    La legalización del consumo y venta de drogas “blandas” (mariguana y hachís) en Holanda resultó un éxito para el sistema de salud de ese país, al disminuir el nivel de adicción a estas sustancias entre su población.

  8. Ex-Mexico president calls for legalizing drugs

    09 August 2010
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    Former President Vicente Fox is joining with those urging his successor to legalize drugs in Mexico, saying that could break the economic power of the country's brutal drug cartels. Fox's comments, posted Sunday on his blog, came less than a week after President Felipe Calderon agreed to open the door to discussions about the legalization of drugs, even though he stressed that he remained opposed to the idea.

  9. Thinking the unthinkable

    12 August 2010
    Other news

    Since marijuana provides the Mexican gangs with up to half their income, taking that business out of their hands would change the balance of power in the drug war. Californians will vote in November on whether to legalise and tax the sale of marijuana to adults. Were the proposal to pass it would render Mexico’s assault on drug traffickers untenable, reckons Jorge Castañeda, a former foreign minister. “How would you continue with a war on drugs in Tijuana, when across the border grocery stores were selling marijuana?” he asks. 

  10. Has the time come to legalize drugs?

    Andres Oppenheimer
    12 August 2010
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    Legalization of drugs -- long an issue championed mainly by fringe groups -- is rapidly moving to the mainstream in Latin America.  Last week's surprise statement by former Mexican President Vicente Fox in support of "legalizing production, sales and distribution" of drugs made big headlines around the world.

  11. Marijuana Legalization Gaining Favor in Mexico

    Lauren Villagran
    08 August 2010
    Other news

    "I don't think that marijuana legalization will be a panacea on drug violence in Mexico," said David Shirk, director of the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego.  "But legalization could change the nature of the fight.  Drugs are so much more profitable than any other form of illicit activity.  You take away that profitability, and you cripple the organizations' ability to corrupt the state."

  12. presidentemexico

    Mexico rethinks drugs strategy as violence escalates

    11 August 2010
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    Mexico's  president, Felipe Calderón, launched his presidency three and a half years ago with an unprecedented military-led offensive against the country's drug cartels. Since then 28,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence that continues to escalate, with little sign that the power of the traffickers has been reduced.

  13. A war on drugs? No, this is a war on the Mexican people

    12 August 2010
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    Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, began his administration in 2000 with a popular festival. Felipe Calderón, who took over in 2006, began his with a show of military force. His affinity for uniforms, army brass bands and public events with the armed forces makes an overt connection between the military and the executive that was unusual in Mexican politics before his presidency.

  14. Leading doctor urges decriminalisation of drugs

    16 August 2010
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    One of the UK's leading doctors said today the government should consider decriminalising drugs because the blanket ban has failed to cut crime or improve health. "I'm not saying we should make heroin available to everyone, but we should be treating it as a health issue rather than criminalising people," said Sir Ian Gilmore, former president of the Royal College of Physicians.

  15. crack-smoking-rio

    Crack untamed: treat users, kill the market

    Flávia Resende
    07 May 2010
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    Brazil will soon have a special police task force targeting crack-cocaine. Meanwhile, the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais proposes its own drug fighting alternatives to address crack on the domestic front. Crack is a risk factor in urban violence, contributing to homicides and robberies in Brazilian cities. However, it is not the chemistry involved in crack, but the crack market that is increasing the crime and violence. How can rising crack use effectively be addressed, other than through mere suppression?

  16. Can California's Legalization Battle Kick-Start a Movement for Change?

    Terrence McNally, Ethan Nadelmann
    05 September 2010
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    Drug prohibition is remarkably ineffective, costly and counter-productive -- it has cost people their lives, and put millions behind bars. Is the tide turning?

  17. real-california-cannabis

    California's Prop 19, on legalizing marijuana, could end Mexico's drug war

    Héctor Aguilar Camín, Jorge G. Castañeda
    05 September 2010
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    On Nov. 2, Californians will vote on Proposition 19, deciding whether to legalize the production, sale and consumption of marijuana. If the initiative passes, it won't just be momentous for California; it may, at long last, offer Mexico the promise of an exit from our costly war on drugs. The costs of that war have long since reached intolerable levels: more than 28,000 of our fellow citizens dead since late 2006; expenditures well above $10 billion; terrible damage to Mexico's image abroad; human rights violations by government security forces; and ever more crime.

  18. Our 'war on drugs' has been an abysmal failure. Just look at Mexico

    Simon Jenkins
    09 September 2010
    Other news

    It is wrecking the government of Mexico. It is financing the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is throwing 11,000 Britons into jail. It is corrupting democracy throughout Latin America. It is devastating the ghettoes of America and propagating Aids in urban Europe. Its turnover is some £200bn a year, on which it pays not a penny of tax. Thousands round the world die of it and millions are impoverished. It is the biggest man-made blight on the face of the earth.

  19. Weary of drug war, Mexico debates legalization

    Tim Johnson
    12 September 2010
    Other news

    A debate about legalizing marijuana and possibly other drugs — once a taboo suggestion — is percolating in Mexico, a nation exhausted by runaway violence and a deadly drug war. The debate is only likely to grow more animated if Californians approve an initiative on Nov. 2 to legalize marijuana for recreational use in their state.

  20. Calif. to vote on legalizing marijuana

    Michael W. Savage
    09 September 2010
    Other news

    For those who have long argued that smoking marijuana should not be a crime, a potentially historic turning point is just weeks away. Voters in California will decide Nov. 2 whether to make their state the first to legalize the growing, selling and recreational use of marijuana. And polls here - the nation's most populous state - suggest that residents are about evenly split on the issue.

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