Mexico on the verge of decriminalizing possession of small amounts of drugs

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Congress of Mexico has passed a bill that will decriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use. The passage of the bill has drawn criticism from Washington, D.C.

Under the law possession of up to five grams of marijuana, half a gram of cocaine (or about 4 lines) or 25 milligrams of heroin would no longer be a crime in Mexico. In addition, possession of small amounts of LSD, MDA, ecstasy, and methamphetamine would also be legalized, officials said.

Current Mexican drug possession law allows charges to be dropped against defendants if they can prove that they are addicts and if the amount is the quantity necessary for personal use. The new law reportedly removes the "addict" requirement and sets specific legal quantities

President Vicente Fox is expected to sign the bill. According to President Fox's spokesman, Ruben Aguilar, "This law gives police and prosecutors better legal tools to combat drug crimes that do so much damage to our youth and children."

San Diego Mayor and former police chief Jerry Sanders seems to disagree, calling the legislation "appallingly stupid, reckless and incredibly dangerous."

"If enacted, even the most reasonable person will have room to question Mexico's commitment to the war on drugs," he said. "I think many, including myself, will view this as a hostile action by a longtime ally to the United States."

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References

  1. "Articulo 524" — Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas de la UNAM, 30 de marzo de 2006 (March 20, 2006)
  2. "Articulo 199" — Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas de la UNAM, 30 de marzo de 2006 (March 20, 2006)
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