Latest news on drug policy issues in the international media


  • Leading doctor urges decriminalisation of drugs

    Former president of the Royal College of Physicians says blanket ban has failed to cut crime or improve health
    The Guardian
    Monday, August 16, 2010

    One of the UK's leading doctors said today the government should consider decriminalising drugs because the blanket ban has failed to cut crime or improve health. "I'm not saying we should make heroin available to everyone, but we should be treating it as a health issue rather than criminalising people," said Sir Ian Gilmore, former president of the Royal College of Physicians.

  • Thinking the unthinkable

    Amid drug-war weariness, Felipe Calderón calls for a debate on legalisation
    The Economist
    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    Since marijuana provides the Mexican gangs with up to half their income, taking that business out of their hands would change the balance of power in the drug war. Californians will vote in November on whether to legalise and tax the sale of marijuana to adults. Were the proposal to pass it would render Mexico’s assault on drug traffickers untenable, reckons Jorge Castañeda, a former foreign minister. “How would you continue with a war on drugs in Tijuana, when across the border grocery stores were selling marijuana?” he asks. 

  • Has the time come to legalize drugs?

    The Oppenheimer Report
    Andres Oppenheimer
    The Miami Herald
    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    Legalization of drugs -- long an issue championed mainly by fringe groups -- is rapidly moving to the mainstream in Latin America.  Last week's surprise statement by former Mexican President Vicente Fox in support of "legalizing production, sales and distribution" of drugs made big headlines around the world.

  • A war on drugs? No, this is a war on the Mexican people

    29,000 dead, human rights leaders murdered, the constitution violated – the price of President Calderón's popularity bid
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday 12 August 2010

    Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, began his administration in 2000 with a popular festival. Felipe Calderón, who took over in 2006, began his with a show of military force. His affinity for uniforms, army brass bands and public events with the armed forces makes an overt connection between the military and the executive that was unusual in Mexican politics before his presidency.

  • Mexico rethinks drugs strategy as violence escalates

    Rising fatalities spur calls for legalisation as president admits military tactics are failing.
    The Guardian (UK)
    Wednesday 11 August 2010

    Mexico's  president, Felipe Calderón, launched his presidency three and a half years ago with an unprecedented military-led offensive against the country's drug cartels. Since then 28,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence that continues to escalate, with little sign that the power of the traffickers has been reduced.

  • Ex-Mexico president calls for legalizing drugs

    The Associated Press
    Sunday, August 8, 2010

    Former President Vicente Fox is joining with those urging his successor to legalize drugs in Mexico, saying that could break the economic power of the country's brutal drug cartels. Fox's comments, posted Sunday on his blog, came less than a week after President Felipe Calderon agreed to open the door to discussions about the legalization of drugs, even though he stressed that he remained opposed to the idea.

  • Permitir uso inhibe adicciones

    En la política y la legislación holandesas se hace una distinción entre cannabis y drogas “duras”, como éxtasis, cocaína y heroína
    El Universal
    Lunes, 9 de agosto, 2010

    La legalización del consumo y venta de drogas “blandas” (mariguana y hachís) en Holanda resultó un éxito para el sistema de salud de ese país, al disminuir el nivel de adicción a estas sustancias entre su población.

  • The problem is more than just the substances, it's the prohibition itself

    When police crack down on drug users and dealers, the result is almost always an increase in violence
    Maria Lucia Karam
    The Observer
    Sunday, August 8, 2010

    Maria Lucia Karam, a retired Brazilian judge, argues that drugs should be legalised - but regulated. Every country that has provided a glimpse of what a regulated future might look like has experienced lowered rates of death, disease, crime and addiction.

  • Marijuana Legalization Gaining Favor in Mexico

    Frustration With Drug War Causing Shift; U.S. Stance Still an Obstacle
    Lauren Villagran
    The Dallas Morning News
    Sunday, August 8, 2010

    "I don't think that marijuana legalization will be a panacea on drug violence in Mexico," said David Shirk, director of the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego.  "But legalization could change the nature of the fight.  Drugs are so much more profitable than any other form of illicit activity.  You take away that profitability, and you cripple the organizations' ability to corrupt the state."

  • Why the US and Latin America could be ready to end a fruitless 40-year struggle

    The Observer (UK)
    Sunday, August 8, 2010

    Mexico's president Felipe Caldéron is the latest Latin leader to call for a debate on drugs legalisation. And in the US, liberals and right-wing libertarians are pressing for an end to prohibition. Forty years after President Nixon launched the 'war on drugs' there is a growing momentum to abandon the fight.

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