Monday, August 24, 2009
A new law was passed on Thursday, August, 20, 2009, decriminalizing small amounts of drugs for personal use in Mexico. The drugs that fall under this new act include: marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and even LSD; the only requirement is that the amounts be under a certain weight that has been agreed upon by the Mexican government. According to the Associated Press "Mexican authorities said the change only recognized the longstanding practice here of not prosecuting people caught with small amounts of drugs". If a person is caught with drug amounts falling under the set limit they will be encouraged by authorities to seek treatment; however if caught a third time treatment will then be mandatory even though Mexico has not stated any penalties for noncompliance. Mexico legalizing drug possession raises some very serious questions considering that they are currently in the grips of a serious drug war as we speak. If the government is supposedly trying to stop the cartels from producing and distributing drugs, it seems counterproductive that they would legalize the cartels main source of income.
The new drug law went into effect on Friday, August 21, 2009, and will set "the maximum amount of marijuana considered to be for “personal use” under the new law at 5 grams — the equivalent of about four marijuana cigarettes. Other limits are half a gram of cocaine, 50 milligrams of heroin, 40 milligrams for methamphetamine and 0.015 milligrams of LSD". It took several months before before President Felipe Calderón would approve this new law. What kind of message is he trying to send to the world by doing this? A mixed message certainly, and one that can only have a devastating effect on Mexicans as well as Americans who travel to Mexico. If they could not enforce laws before they became legal how do they propose to do it after the fact? There is no way that this new law that sets limits on the amount one can be caught with will have any sway on the mind of a drug addict.