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Monday, November 26, 2012

International Legalization Debate

Legalization is a hot-button topic these days in the wake of both Colorado and Washington legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. As a result, leaders in other nations have called for a debate regarding the impact of legalization on an international level. Four Latin American countries presidents have called for the international debate.

The presidents of Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica have raised concerns about rising crime and violence related to the U.S. government’s drug wars, according to CBS News. Their report points out that it is no longer against the law in 10 Latin American countries to possess small amounts of marijuana; however, the production and distribution of marijuana remains illegal.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon stated that the legalization of recreational marijuana use in two states limits the United States’ “moral authority” to ask other countries to fight or restrict illegal drug trafficking, according to Fox News.

Calderon was joined by leaders of Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica in calling on the Organization of American States to study the new state laws’ impact. He stated that the United Nations (UN) should hold a special session on drug policy. The violence created by drug cartels in Mexico has been on the rise, which is mostly the result in large part because of drug consumption and arms smuggled from the United States, the article notes.

Many believe that legalization will reduce violence throughout North and South America. Nevertheless, legalization may also cause a steep rise in addiction which is a major concern among others and should be addressed.

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