The 43-year-old war on drugs had never seen such a barrage of opposition as it did in 2014, with successful marijuana legalization initiatives in several U.S. states, California’s historic approval of sentencing reform for low level drug offenders and world leaders calling for the legal regulation of all drugs — all of which cement the mainstream appeal of drug policy alternatives and offer unprecedented momentum going into 2015.
The US Drug Enforcement Agency has now walked back statements it made about the trafficking of marijuana grown in the US to buyers in Mexico, after being met with skepticism by other law enforcement agents and experts and being pressed to divulge more information on the allegedly burgeoning problem. The claim that Mexican drug cartel members were taking US-grown weed and selling it at a premium to Mexican customers first emerged in a broader NPR report on the effects of legalized marijuana on the illicit drug trade.
Made-in-America marijuana is on a roll. More than half the states have now voted to permit pot for recreational or medical use, most recently Oregon and Alaska. As a result, Americans appear to be buying more domestic marijuana, which in turn is undercutting growers and cartels in Mexico. "Two or three years ago, a kilogram of marijuana was worth $60 to $90," says Nabor, a 24-year-old pot grower in the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa. "But now they're paying us $30 to $40 a kilo. It's a big difference." (See also: DEA: Cartels now smuggle U.S. pot into Mexico)
La instrumentación del régimen global de prohibición ha tenido una historia centenaria de violaciones a los derechos humanos y extorsión a la soberanía de México desde principios del siglo XX. Ante el costo humano de la Guerra contra las Drogas, diversos grupos ciudadanos han pugnado separadamente por 1) la reforma de las políticas contra las drogas mediante su regulación y la instrumentación de políticas de reducción de daño y 2) garantizar el acceso a la justicia y la reconciliación de las comunidades y personas que han sido víctimas de la violencia relacionado con la Guerra, mediante redes sociales, actos públicos y litigios estratégicos.
Latin America is now at the vanguard of international efforts to promote drug policy reform: Bolivia has rewritten its constitution to recognize the right to use the coca leaf for traditional and legal purposes, Uruguay has become the first nation in the world to adopt a legal, regulated Cannabis market, and Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, and Ecuador are openly critiquing the prevailing international drug control paradigm at the UN. And now with the United States itself relaxing its marijuana laws state by state, the U.S. prohibitionist drug war strategies are losing credibility in the region.
Peña Nieto no tiene problema en extenderse y mostrarse debidamente contundente es cuando la conversación discurre por el pantanoso asunto de las drogas, sus mercados y sus clientes, de los que México se ha considerado tradicionalmente una víctima. La legalización de la marihuana en algunos Estados de EE UU, le digo al presidente, ¿no le complica el discurso tanto a usted como al presidente Obama en la lucha contra el narcotráfico?
Mexico and the United States cannot pursue diverging policies on marijuana legalization, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was quoted as saying, hinting he may be open to following the lead taken by some U.S. states in changing drug laws. Political pressure has grown in Mexico to take a more liberal stance on marijuana. In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais, Pena Nieto said "we can't continue on this road of inconsistency between the legalization we've had [...] in the most important consumer market, the United States, and in Mexico where we continue to criminalize production of marijuana."