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Former Heads Of State Urge U.s. To Ease Antidrug Policies


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Mexico: Former Presidents Urge U.S. To Ease Antidrug Policies

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URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v13/n112/a05.html

Newshawk: http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htm

Votes: 0

Pubdate: Sun, 10 Mar 2013

Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)

Copyright: 2013 Star Advertiser



Website: http://www.staradvertiser.com/

Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/5154

Author: Tim Johnson, Mcclatchy Newspapers

Page: A17





MEXICO CITY - Three former heads of state are urging the United States to engage in a serious discussion of drug legalization, saying its counternarcotics policies are becoming untenable in the wake of voter approval last fall of measures that legalized the recreational use of marijuana in Washington state and Colorado.


The three - the former presidents of Brazil, Colombia and Switzerland - - said the inconsistency in U.S. attitudes toward marijuana shows that American public opinion is changing, even as the U.S. continues to press Latin American nations for tough enforcement of antidrug trafficking laws. The result is confusion and anger in Latin American nations embroiled in drug violence while Americans adopt a more lax approach toward marijuana.


"There's been a great silence over these initiatives, silence by the administration and the Department of Justice, silence within the media, silence by the parties," Cesar Gaviria, a former president of Colombia, said about the legalization push.


Gaviria, who also led the Organization of American States, the hemisphere's oldest regional grouping, from 1994 to 2004, said nations such as Mexico look on with bewilderment at the gap between U.S. federal law, changing public attitudes and the race by states to permit medical marijuana or outright legalization. Currently, 18 states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana, and initiatives are brewing in other states.


"Mexico has the right and the authority to tell the United States to evaluate its policies and conduct a debate," Gaviria said. "Over there, they are avoiding this debate and any discussion over these issues."


Gaviria spoke Thursday night at the end of a two-day forum in Mexico City by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a panel that seeks a dramatic reappraisal of drug laws. The group was set up in 2010 and includes seven former presidents, among them Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil and Ruth Dreifuss of Switzerland.


In a separate interview, Henrique Cardoso said Latin governments see major contradictions among U.S. government agencies, with the Drug Enforcement Administration pressing an antidrug agenda that is clearly not shared by a wide range of the American public.


"The DEA is more a department for foreign nations than for America," he said. "In America, you are liberalizing marijuana. And abroad, you are insisting on strict control."


Gaviria, Henrique Cardoso and Dreifuss all dismissed a warning by the International Narcotics Control Board earlier last week that the U.S. risks falling afoul of international treaties if it permits Colorado and Washington to legalize marijuana.


The global narcotics accords, sometimes referred to as the Vienna Convention, were approved in 1961, 1971 and 1988, and 188 nations have signed on to them.


"The international treaties are not being followed," Henrique Cardoso said. "What happened in Portugal, in Switzerland or the Netherlands?" he asked, referring to European nations that either decriminalized drug use or offered prescription narcotics to addicts. "They are not in compliance."


A demand for broader discussion on alternative approaches to global drug policy has gained momentum. Six Latin nations last year successfully appealed to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to hold a special session of the U.N. General Assembly in 2016 to discuss changes to global drug policy.





MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom



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Bingo ! Chauncy thats exactly whats going on in Latinoland, has been for a coupple centuries now. ONly thing is itss a charaade to conceal the Reality of what is really going on. Resource re-allocation. Banana Republic Style. Guns for weed and bananas ! yeah baby ... and a dozen tacos too go. Thank you, Uncle Sambo ...


A few recent incidents [as in during my lifetime] unfortunatley unbeknownst to me till it was too late this same sorry excuse for a human

Though he hardly originted the policy, he definitley upped the anti, through his efforts.


....was he vindictive?


Most people heard about Tiennamen Sq[1989]massacre, how about the Tlatelolco massacre[1968]


Surely the Kent State Shootings[1970]



Though he hardly originted the policy, he definitley upped the anti, through his efforts.


And finally, a tribute to those brave souls that attempted to set the record straight In Kent State, Tiennamen and Tlatelolco...

Edited by solabeirtan
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