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.


NEW FICTION: AN EDUCATION OF SCARS by Philip Brewer

Paul Raven @ 02-03-2009

This month’s fresh fiction at Futurismic is another examination of the ways small and alarmingly plausible advances in science and medicine might affect people’s lives in the near future. This time out, Philip Brewer delivers a dark and touching take on the classic love triangle in “An Education of Scars”. Let us know what you thought in the comments – and enjoy!

An Education of Scars

by Philip Brewer

I was just two steps from escaping the party by slipping out onto the terrace when I spotted Hostess and Investment Banker Pickering watching me. She didn’t say anything, but her expression of reproach stopped me. I ducked my head.

“Oh, stop it, Peter,” she said. “I invited you to the party to cheer you up, not make you miserable.”

I did my best to look happy.

Hostess Pickering sighed. “Is there anybody here you actually want to talk to? I’ll introduce you.”

I looked around.

The floor was a shimmering sea green. Forty or fifty people drifted back and forth in couples and small groups. Outside it was night, but the terrace was lit just enough to keep the windows from turning into mirrors.

“Peter? I’m not going to introduce you to the terrace.”

I snapped my head back and looked again at the people.

Then I saw a woman. Continue reading “NEW FICTION: AN EDUCATION OF SCARS by Philip Brewer”