Friday, August 21, 2009

Our friendly neighbor to the south

Mexico decriminalizes small-scale drug possession
Mexico decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and heroin on Friday—a move that prosecutors say makes sense even in the midst of the government's grueling battle against drug traffickers.

The new law sets out maximum "personal use" amounts for drugs, also including LSD and methamphetamine. People detained with those quantities no longer face criminal prosecution.

We can look forward to this culture continuing to make it's way north. This "makes sense" in the same way it makes sense to encourage your kids to do their chores by not punishing them when they watch tv instead of taking out the garbage.

Say it with me now: build the fence high and wide!


Kaelri said...

You should talk to the Portugese government about why this "makes sense."

In 2001, they decriminalized the possession and personal use of marijuana, heroin, cocaine, LSD and more. Five years on, the rate of deaths from street drug overdose dropped by about 25%. New HIV infections from dirty needles dropped by 70%. Overall lifetime use of marijuana and heroin by teenagers is down, and the number of people seeking medical treatment for addiction has doubled, "after decriminalization and money saved on enforcement allowed for increased funding of drug-free treatment."

So if you oppose a marked improvement in the quality of American life, then by all means, build the fence.

Sources: Time, Scientific American.

Anonymous said...

The new law sets out maximum "personal use" amounts for drugs ...

And being a passionate and unwavering "rule of law" man, Daniel has no choice other than to support the law as written. Of course, he won't, and being a shameless hypocrite and bigot-in-denial, he reserves the right to disgorge venomous bile upon those who dare to suggest that perhaps immigration laws ought to be eased to accomodate the realities of the 21st century global marketplace, and being an idiot, he will also fail to understand why anyone would suggest that he is a hypocrite or a bigot.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Mexico will be invaded by Illegal Aliens with Illegal drug habits.

It should be noted that Portugal is not populated by a race of people who are highly addictive to drugs and alcahol.

We know what wiped out the Aztecs and Mayans.

Bobkatt said...

Kaelri- I know that you follow this blog at least occasionally and may have noted that I often refer to the work of LEAP, the great website of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. While I am not convinced that we should eliminate all drug laws, the Libertarian in me suggest that we should not interfere in others lives. That said I am not in any way promoting drug use but do realize the damage that our current system imposes on users and their families. I also realize that we waste a huge amount of energy and money enforcing these laws and receive little success. I also realize that our own government is deeply involved in providing and distributing much of these drugs and in the selective punishment involved.

All that said I must also point out that you selectively chose to not include comments from the articles you referenced that down-play the success and viability of the U.S. using this approach.

"...Mark Kleiman, author of the forthcoming When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment and director of the drug policy analysis program at UCLA. Kleiman does not consider Portugal a realistic model for the U.S., however, because of differences in size and culture between the two countries."

"Peter Reuter, a professor of criminology and public policy at the University of Maryland, like Kleiman, is skeptical. He conceded in a presentation at the Cato Institute that "it's fair to say that decriminalization in Portugal has met its central goal. Drug use did not rise." However, he notes that Portugal is a small country and that the cyclical nature of drug epidemics — which tends to occur no matter what policies are in place — may account for the declines in heroin use and deaths.

The Cato report's author, Greenwald, hews to the first point: that the data shows that decriminalization does not result in increased drug use. Since that is what concerns the public and policymakers most about decriminalization, he says, "that is the central concession that will transform the debate."

Bobkatt said...

P.S. this study also appears to be only a five year period so I would take the results with a grain of salt.

MAX Redline said...


I'm very conservative, and I'm completely opposed to the tack Mexico has taken. That opposition, however, is grounded in their proximity to the USA and in our government's willful failure to secure our borders.

I agree that dmeand in a large country such as the USA is what drives profitability for the cartels, and I further agree that our enforcement efforts are disproportionate in their focus.

Decriminalization is currently under way in Portugal, yes, and has for many years been the practice in the Netherlands. In the latter, however, there is a growing backlash against that level of permissiveness. Even in that relatively tiny country, people have discovered that legalization yielded results that have been counter to the public interest.

In a country as large, as corrupt, and as violent as Mexico, one can expect the results to be considerably worse than the Dutch experience.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:19, I'm so glad you made that comment, because it illustrates with exquisite clarity the sheer fucking stupidity of Miglavians: The Aztecs and Mayans were "wiped out," as you say, by Spanish conquerers not drug use or "illegal aliens" you fucking moron. To liken the two reveals such a stunning ignorance of history that I'm not sure I could even address it at any length without laughing so hard my fingers would shake right off the keyboard, so I'll stop now while I'm ahead.

Anonymous said...

Daniel's buys into this stupid idea of a bigger fence like politicians do the "War on Drugs." If we can just spend more money (tax dollars, which basically means, Daniel, that you're talking about MY money) then we can win this thing!

The legitimacy of this idea may be tested by looking at the history of the "War on Drugs" for the past 30 or 40 years, and the history of drug use since there were humans and drugs. How's that going? Daniel lives in a fantasy land. it is called ... Miglavia, and from where I'm sitting, it's pretty damned expensive. And it's MY fucking tax dollars, you so-called "conservative." What a fraud you are. What a joke!

DAVE01 said...

Anon 1:21 PM I assume you are against the fence? I recommend you take a look at Israel's fence. Do you remember a few years ago when all the pali's were blowing up jews with bombs. Most of that has stopped. Now they are firing rockets. OVER A FENCE. Fences work quite well. It's been a few years since I've been in DC; but, I remember a fence with armed guards at the white house. To build the fence and maintain it would be a few hundred million dollars a year. This would stop the rapists, murderers, drunk drivers, drug and human smugglers and all sorts of other scum. I guess it is better that we give mexico a billion dollars in the meridian initiative so they can fight crime. Somehow giving a billion dollars to a crooked country instead of building a fence to protect our women and children from them doesn't make any sense. I can't believe you would not want a few of your tax dollars to protect our women and children. I guess you don't want to waste a few of your tax dollars to stop young girls from being raped and murdered. Most of the illegals aliens are from third world countries. Mexican culture condones older men having sex with young girls. Here is a statement form the mexican consul in Portland:

Fernando Sanchez Ugarte, the Mexican consul based in Portland, said young immigrants sometimes run afoul of the law because they have trouble making the transition to a new culture.

Some problems, he said, are culture clashes.

"If a boy is 18 or 20 and he likes a girl who is maybe 14 or 15, he speaks to the parents and they go to a house together until they can save money for the kind of wedding they want," he said.

"They may live together for a year or two, the kids do exactly as they did at home. But here there are accusations of abuse of a minor. We have many in jail for that. ...These are rural, indigenous people. The boy may be good, clean, working, decent. It's not abuse. But that's hard to understand here."

They call it a culture clash, I call it raping our young girls. I would have to guess that you approve of our young girls being raped by older men. Did your mother not give you enough love? Have you been turned down by women?

I will tell you that I am for legalizing pot and coke. The fence would stop over 90% of the meth. If we legalized pot and coke, that would stop most of the other money to the terrorist and drugs gangs south of our border. I think the war on drugs is a wasted effort.

Anonymous said...

Someone got caught with Meth on here, so I am not sure if they should be nagging about decriminalization, should they?

Stevie said...

Daniel, as someone who believes (I think) that government should just stay out of peoples' lives, I find it hard to understand how you could rationalize government declaring that it has an unequivocal right to control what a person - who is otherwise doing no harm to society - can and cannot put in their own body.

Shall I assume that you also think government should regulate and control the amount of fast food Americans consume? After all, the negative health effects of fast food consumption can be measured in the billions and billions of dollars. With more than half the country being technically "overweight", CLEARLY this is an urgent concern for America. So, I take it you think government needs to regulate more in this arena as well? I mean, if your argument with regard to drugs is that government has a right to involve itself because those drugs present a net-negative influence on society, I just don't see any intellectual consistency in you arguing that while small amounts of drugs should be illegal, fast food should remain legal and unregulated.

And sure, possession of small amounts of drugs would create some new problems. I do not deny that. But would those problems outweigh the new benefits? Hard to tell. To be sure, other countries that have gone this route (legalizing small amounts of drugs) seem to have experienced a net benefit from doing so.

Which makes sense. After all, what have we learned from the last couple decades of prohibition, and prohibition in the 1920-30's, that would lead you to believe prohibition has been a successful policy? On the contrary, I think prohibition has largely been an abysmal failure. I mean, the end result of our current prohibition is that I can walk into downtown Portland right now and buy relatively cheap, relatively pure drugs quickly. Since I'm fairly certain that was not the intent of our current prohibitionist policy, how can you argue it is anything other than a complete failure?

As a staunch critic of government, and in particular government programs that simply don't work, it amazes me Daniel that you so warmly embrace the government's current policy of prohibition, and scoff at other reform efforts. And quite frankly, it makes me wonder what other big-government policy disasters you endorse.