Mexico gov’t decriminalizes personal drug possession

Paul Raven @ 24-08-2009

marijuana plantThe headline says it all, basically – with very little fanfare or ceremony, the government of Mexico has voted to formally decriminalize small-scale possession of controlled drugs and intoxicants.

The law sets out maximum “personal use” amounts for drugs, also including LSD and methamphetamine. People detained with those quantities will no longer face criminal prosecution when the law goes into effect Friday.

Anyone caught with drug amounts under the personal-use limit will be encouraged to seek treatment, and for those caught a third time treatment is mandatory — although the law does not specify penalties for noncompliance.

[…]

Mexico has emphasized the need to differentiate drug addicts and casual users from the violent traffickers whose turf battles have contributed to the deaths of more than 11,000 people during Calderon’s term. In the face of growing domestic drug use, Mexico has increased its focus on prevention and drug treatment.

This is a controversial development for many reasons, especially following in the wake of the suggestion that a harsh economic landscape is linked to the loosening of prohibition laws. It will be interesting to see what effect it has on the crime rate in Mexico, not to mention how it’s larger richer neighbour to the North will react. [via SlashDot; image by Eric Caballero]

One thing is pretty certain, though: the border guards at Tijuana will need to draft in extra recruits for the next Spring Break season.