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Kids, we're movin' to Mexico!


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MEXICO CITY — Mexico's Congress approved a bill Friday decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin for personal use — a measure sure to raise questions in Washington about Mexico's commitment to the war on drugs.

The only remaining step was the signature of President Vicente Fox, whose office indicated he would sign it.

Supporters said the law would let police focus on drug smuggling, rather than on busting casual users. The bill also would stiffen many drug-related penalties: for trafficking, for possession near schools, and for possession of even small quantities by government employees.

Criminal penalties for drug sales would remain on the books.

"We can't close our eyes to this reality," said Sen. Jorge Zermeno, of Fox's conservative National Action Party. "We cannot continue to fill our jails with people who have addictions."

The administration of U.S. President George W. Bush scrambled to come up with a response.

"We're still studying the legislation, but any effort to decriminalize illegal drugs would not be helpful," a U.S. diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

The bill, passed by Mexico's Senate on a 53-26 vote with one abstention, had already been quietly approved in the lower house of Congress and was sent Friday to the president's desk. Presidential spokesman Ruben Aguilar indicated Fox would sign it.

"This law gives police and prosecutors better legal tools to combat drug crimes that do so much damage to our youth and children," he said.

If signed into law, the bill could have an impact on Mexico's relationship with the United States — and on the vast numbers of vacationing students who visit Mexico, often to take advantage of its rarely enforced drinking age of 18.

The bill says criminal charges will no longer be brought for possession of up to 25 milligrams of heroin, five grams of marijuana — about one-fifth of an ounce, or about four joints — and half a gram of cocaine — about half the standard street-size quantity, which is enough for several lines of the drug.

"No charges will be brought against ... addicts or consumers who are found in possession of any narcotic for personal use," the Senate bill reads. It also lays out allowable quantities for a large array of other drugs, including LSD, MDA, ecstasy — about two pills' worth — and amphetamines.

Some of the amounts are eye-popping: Mexicans would be allowed to possess a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of peyote, the button-sized hallucinogenic cactus used in some native Indian religious ceremonies.

Mexican law now leaves open the possibility of dropping charges against people caught with drugs if they are considered addicts and if "the amount is the quantity necessary for personal use." But the exemption isn't automatic.

The new bill drops the "addict" requirement — automatically allowing any "consumers" to have drugs — and sets out specific allowable quantities.

Sale of all drugs would remain illegal under the proposed law, unlike the Netherlands, where the sale of marijuana for medical use is legal and it can be bought with a prescription in pharmacies.

While Dutch authorities look the other way regarding the open sale of cannabis in designated coffee shops — something Mexican police seem unlikely to do — the Dutch have zero tolerance for heroin and cocaine. In both countries, commercial growing of marijuana is outlawed.

In Colombia, a 1994 court ruling decriminalized personal possession of small amounts of cocaine, heroin and other drugs. But President Alvaro Uribe, who is almost assured of re-election next month, wants to change that with a constitutional amendment.

"Allowing the personal dosage of drugs is inconsistent with a country committed to fighting the war on drugs," Uribe said at a campaign stop.

The effects could be significant, given that Mexico is rapidly becoming a drug-consuming nation as well as a shipment point for traffickers, and given the number of U.S. students who flock to border cities or resorts like Cancun and Acapulco on vacation.

"This is going to increase addictions in Mexico," said Ulisis Bon, a drug treatment expert in Tijuana, where heroin use is rampant. "A lot of Americans already come here to buy medications they can't get up there ... Just imagine, with heroin."

U.S. legalization advocates greeted the bill with glee.

Ethan Nadelmann, director of the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance, called it "a very good move," saying it removed "a huge opportunity for low-level police corruption." In Mexico, police often release people detained for minor drug possession in exchange for bribes.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,193616,00.html

I think it's a good move.

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In other news. Mexico, in a move once thought seemingly impossible, redefines definition of the phrase "drug infested, crime-ridden hellhole."

Yuurrr god bless merica!

Anyway, seems like a good idea. Glad someone is realizing how stupid it is to bust casual users instead of focusing on more important crimes.

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Yuurrr god bless merica!

Anyway, seems like a good idea. Glad someone is realizing how stupid it is to bust casual users instead of focusing on more important crimes.

Especially because of the billions and billions in money that will be made in tax revenue from drug legalization.

I look upon this as a good move, it helps force the druglords to clean up their act a little.

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Yuurrr god bless merica!

So what would you say? "Great job for them! Illegal drugs are illegal for no reason, they don't hurt anyone and people should be allowed to do whatever they want to their own bodies!"

I'd agree with the second part, but unfortunately they don't affect only themselves. D:

Mexico has just dropped another notch on the quality-of-life scale, methinks.

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So what would you say? "Great job for them! Illegal drugs are illegal for no reason, they don't hurt anyone and people should be allowed to do whatever they want to their own bodies!"

Um, um..yea basically. The restrictions seem like they'll keep anyone from hurting anyone.

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If Alcohol and Tobacco continue to be legal in most countries, then its just hypocrisy that leaves other drugs and substances as controlled by the state. At least by legalizing marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin, the Mexican government can hope to gain some tax revenue off of them. If they place large enough taxes, they might even be able to curb the drug abuse that runs rampant through their cities.

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Sounds reasonable to me. I don't think anyone should ever do methamphetamine, ever, just like no one should commit suicide, ever. But why illegalize it? As we can see, people still do it. So making it illegal accomplishes nothing. At least Mexico is trying to do something about it rather than clinging to bullshit conservative morality, which has and continues to do more harm than good.

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If Alcohol and Tobacco continue to be legal in most countries, then its just hypocrisy that leaves other drugs and substances as controlled by the state. At least by legalizing marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin, the Mexican government can hope to gain some tax revenue off of them. If they place large enough taxes, they might even be able to curb the drug abuse that runs rampant through their cities.

But it's still illegal to sell drugs. This seems like a good idea in concept, but I don't really understand why they allow drug possesion but selling drugs remains illegal. They claim they want to concentrate on busting the drug dealers and smugglers, but by allowing people to possess the stuff legally just means there will be an increased demand for it because there is no longer any risk in posessing it. So one would imagine drug sales may possibly increase from this, despite their efforts to crack down on drug dealers. It's better than nothing, but it only seems like half a step in the right direction. But I suppose with the U.S. breathing down Mexico's neck about drugs, it's the best they can do.

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you think it can't get worse, just look at Colombia, or Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, ot Stalinist Russia, or Nazi Germany, or...

So why are we looking at it that way? It's like, everyone sees this as a good thing because it can't get much worse than Nazi Germany.

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So why are we looking at it that way? It's like, everyone sees this as a good thing because it can't get much worse than Nazi Germany.

The way I see it... Anyone who was gonna do drugs is gonna do them whether they're illegal or not. Everyone who doesn't still won't.

It's just this way people won't get arrested for smokin' some weed, which, in the grand scheme of things, is really not that big a deal.

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