Monday, September 14, 2009

New Mexican Drug laws

TRY TO KEEP YOUR KIDS OUT OF MEXICO DURING SCHOOL BREAKS! now not only can they get alcohol they can now take drugs legally.

Under siege by drug traffickers, Mexico took a bold and controversial step last week when it opted to no longer prosecute those carrying relatively small quantities of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs. Instead, people found with drugs for “personal and immediate use,” according to the law, will be referred to free treatment programs where they will be considered patients, not criminals.

This new Mexican law is part of a growing trend across Latin America to treat drug use as a public health problem and make room in overcrowded prisons for violent traffickers rather than small-time users.

Portugal's similar law defines personal use as the equivalent of what one person would consume over 10 days. Police confiscate the drugs and the suspect must appear before a government commission, which reviews the person's drug consumption patterns. Users may be fined, sent for treatment or put on probation.

Foreigners caught with drugs still face arrest in Portugal, a measure to prevent drug tourism. This should have been a consideration in Mexico as well.

Should America consider the same type of law? Would it keep people out of prison who really don't need to be there because of their addiction's? Who, really wants to quit doing drugs but can't because they cannot afford treatment?

The law allows the state police to arrest those with up to 1,000 times the personal consumption amounts, people who would be considered dealers. Anyone with larger amounts would be seen as trafficking drugs, and they would be handed over to federal authorities.

Under the new law, a police search that turns up a half-gram of cocaine, the equivalent of about four lines, will not bring any jail time. The same applies for 5 grams of marijuana (about four cigarettes), 50 milligrams of heroin, 40 milligrams of methamphetamine or 0.015 milligrams of LSD.

The Bush administration criticized a similar bill proposed in Mexico in 2006, prompting then-President Vicente Fox to send it back to Congress. But Washington has stayed quiet this time, praising Calderon for his fight against drug cartels -- a struggle that has seen some 11,000 people killed since Calderon took office in 2006.

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