Ex Presidents of Latin America: Legalize Marijuana
Lat week, during a meeting in Brazil for the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy, former presidents of Brazil, Mexico and Colombia called on a change in tactics for discrimination for personal marijuana consumption and the war on drugs.
The former presidents, Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico (94-00), Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil(95-02) and Cesar Gaviria of Colombia (00-04) all spoke in unison to decriminalize personal marijuana consumption, and to focus the war on drugs at drug cartel and organized crime.
This news comes shortly after, Gusto Sierra, a mayor for Surquillo district in Lima, Peru suggested that the federal government legalize illicit drugs and administer them throughout the national health ministry.
The commission stressed that decriminalization should be accompanied by treatment for addicts and public service campaigns on abuse prevention. “If you don’t help those that are dependent, you are half way there because they are going to commit crime and get money and pay for the drug,” Gaviria said.
“In many states in the United States, as is the case in California, they have begun to change federal policies with regard to tolerating marijuana for therapeutic purposes. And in Washington, there’s some consensus that the current policy is fading,” states Gaviria.
The Commission noted that the decades-old criminalization of personal consumption has failed to stop the plant’s cultivation and distribution.
The 17-member panel worked on the report for a year and will forward it to all Latin American governments, as well as the United States and the European Union.