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Mexico Decriminalizes Small-Scale Drug Possession

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the never-did-worry-much-about-the-little-things dept.

Government 640

Professor_Quail notes an AP story that begins, "Mexico enacted a controversial law Thursday decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs while encouraging free government treatment for drug dependency. The law sets out maximum 'personal use' amounts for drugs, also including LSD and methamphetamine. People detained with those quantities will no longer face criminal prosecution when the law goes into effect Friday." An official in the attorney general's office said, "This is not legalization, this is regulating the issue and giving citizens greater legal certainty... for a practice that was already in place." In 2006, the US criticized a similar bill that had no provisions for mandatory treatment, and the then-president sent it back to Congress for reconsideration.

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640 comments

It's about goddamn time (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161005)

Now if only the USA would follow suit and end this madness.

Re:It's about goddamn time (1, Funny)

1stworld (929011) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161257)

Indeed. Why can't we be more like Mexico in every way?

Re:It's about goddamn time (5, Funny)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161605)

Indeed. Why can't we be more like Mexico in every way?

No way! That would require bringing our prison population levels down from 4% to something negligible. This is the USA. We can't have those levels of freedom here! What do you think this is, some kind of democracy?

Decriminalization in Light of the Drug War (3, Insightful)

reporter (666905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161349)

We should view this Mexican decriminalization of narcotics in light of the recent shockingly bloody drug war [csmonitor.com] . "Ever since President Felipe Calderon began the war in 2006, more than 12,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence - most of them in fighting between competing cartels."

Calderon is a conservative politician who hates the drug business. He hates it so much that he actually unleashed the Mexican army against the drug cartel. Unfortunately for him, the cartel has tremendous firepower (smuggled from the United States) and fought the army in the streets. The army hurt the dominant cartels just enought to splinter them. Now, the splinters are fighting each other.

Calderon is probably rethinking whether he can actually win the drug war. This decriminalization may be the first sign that he is accepting the fact that narcotics is an integral part of Mexican culture.

Re:Decriminalization in Light of the Drug War (0, Flamebait)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161431)

This decriminalization may be the first sign that he is accepting the fact that narcotics is an integral part of Mexican culture.

I was with you up until this last sentence. I know you're not trying to be racist...

There is however a definite, long-standing trend in Mexican culture to assert independence from the gringoes, alternating with catering to their vices, mainly through prostitution and smuggling.

Re:Decriminalization in Light of the Drug War (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161547)

I don't know, everything I've read suggests that the average Mexicans don't like the drug cartels. Who would? They just cause violence and problems for normal people. They kill famous Mexican singers (in the case of Zayda Penya they failed the first try, then hunted her down in her hospital bed and did the job right). Who on earth really wants their town to be a battle ground for rival groups of any kind? Narcotics are no more an integral part of Mexican culture than gang warfare is of Los Angeles, or corruption is in Mexico.

Note that Columbia used to have worse problems with drug violence, but it's largely been eliminated (and pushed into Peru and Venezuela, but that's a different story). There will always be drug trafficking as long as it is illegal, but violent powerful drug cartels are not a necessary part of that (there is nowhere in the US that we have drug violence at that level, for example).

Re:Decriminalization in Light of the Drug War (5, Insightful)

dark42 (1085797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161639)

Except that most of the profits (thought to be more than 75%) that the drug cartels make are not from narcotics, but from cannabis. The only real way to seriously cripple the Mexican drug cartels and minimize the violence is to completely legalize cannabis (better yet, all soft, nonaddictive drugs) in the United States (where the vast majority of their market is in), and let the legal, taxed, free market steal the cartels' business. After all, what stoner would want to buy crappy Mexican schwag from shady dealers when he can get high-quality product from the local coffeeshop, or just grow it in his back yard?

And California is releasing the "non violent" (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161019)

Prohibition II may soon be over.

Re:And California is releasing the "non violent" (5, Insightful)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161083)

Canada already turns a blind eye to small time Pot. (Check out the documentary The Union [theunionmovie.com] )

USA has the highest rate of incarcerated people per capita of any country other than possibly China. (who doesn't release stats like that)

I can come home and destroy my liver after a long day at work, but I can't sit down and enjoy some THC?

Re:And California is releasing the "non violent" (4, Interesting)

DirtyCanuck (1529753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161125)

Except our new government (Conservatives) have lost their minds and are pushing mandatory minimum sentences.

The Union discusses the extradition of Marc Emory. At this point and time Marc is going to jail. Further failings of Canadian sovereignty and our failtard government.

We need to take charge as people and raise this issue. It's broader than simply people getting to ingest their drugs. It's about the corrupted War On Drugs mentality that fuels the legal monster which eats hard working and law abiding citizens in the name of meeting a quota.

Re:And California is releasing the "non violent" (5, Insightful)

catmistake (814204) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161331)

At this point and time Marc is going to jail.

This is rather absurd, isn't it? The world economy is in the shitter, the US debt out of control, violent crime rises as does unemployment... yet these moronic, relentless conservatives in the Justice Dept. somehow believe they deserve a pat on the back for spending ?millions battling Canada for extradition of a single man that sold... seed. And our taxes will be paying to board him for a few years.

I'd like to ask these idiots: "in what way has the pursuit of prosecution of Marc Emory NOT hurt America?"

Apparently what you need to be a superpower (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161165)

USA has the highest rate of incarcerated people per capita of any country other than possibly China.
Apparently to be a superpower you need to lock-up a sizable chunk of your population.
Not sure if this says about "not taking crap" or about having a wild enough population to dominate others.

Scotland, on the other hand, thinks that for killing someone you should only serve 11.6 days in prison (8 years, 6 months, 20 days divided by 270 deaths).
The EU tries to pass this off as "humane" but such a low value of human life strikes me a barbarous.

Re:Apparently what you need to be a superpower (0, Flamebait)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161319)

Barbarous? For an agent of a foreign power (Libya) to kill civilians of a power they dislike? Really? That's just war.

Re:Apparently what you need to be a superpower (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161437)

I believe you misread my comment.
I did not call the bomber barbarous.
I called the English/Scottish legal system barbarous.
That legal system (and society in general) said "Our citizens lives and human life in general is worth only a trivial amount." To have so little regard for and degrade human life in such a way is barbarous.

Re:Apparently what you need to be a superpower (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161477)

Well to be honest, I'm not entirely sure it matters what someone did when it comes to humanitarian grounds. I'm also not sure I support humanitarian releases at all, but that's a different issue.

If it mattered what they did, we'd just give them a shorter sentence. Really I think it comes down to what you believe the justice system is for. I believe in its use for prevention, protection, and rehabilitation. When a man is about to die, prevention and protection are achieved naturally and rehabilitation is pointless. Unfortunately, most in my country seem to think vengeance is the most important role it plays. Of course this is all down to opinions, and it's not for anyone to say whose is correct.

When you combine it with the pretty flimsy evidence on this guy, I can't really bring myself to condemn his release.

Re:And California is releasing the "non violent" (1)

Paxtez (948813) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161289)

I can come home and destroy my liver after a long day at work, but I can't sit down and enjoy some THC?

It always bugs me when people use this argument, I would be all for banning alcohol as well, it does far more damage then other drugs, but unfortunately they tried at already and it didn't work.

Re:And California is releasing the "non violent" (2, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161441)

It failed because we the people threw a royal hissy fit.

You could call it a manifestation of popular sovereignty bucking big gov off it's back. You could use it as proof of how well we have been taken hostage by alcohol's addiction.

The party hardies in us all will never listen to proof of how bad booze is, so it obviously has to be the former.

We the people want our booze and we ultimately don't give a shit what it does to anyone but Number One.

Re:And California is releasing the "non violent" (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161603)

It failed because we the people threw a royal hissy fit.

It failed for the same reason that all similar laws will fail: Congress does not have the power to repeal the laws of Botany or Chemistry. They can try, but the Universe laughs at their hubris. They may as well legislate the value of pi [straightdope.com] .

Re:And California is releasing the "non violent" (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161457)

they tried at already and it didn't work.

That was my point above, modded "insightful flamebait". We've tried prohibition. The effect was to take a popular commodity and make it more popular, at the social cost of developing a criminal conspiracy in which nearly all citizens were involved. Violence erupted, and became more violent as prosecution increased. The criminalization of a popular product produced an industry to provide it that infested every sector of the body politic and the greater enforcement grew, the greater the profits for the illicit industry.

The experiment was abandoned as hopeless and upon its repeal US President Woodrow Wilson [wikipedia.org] was reported to say: "I think this would be a good time for a beer."

We cannot as a free society abolish the practice of chemistry. We must abandon one hope or the other.

Re:And California is releasing the "non violent" (4, Insightful)

Nikker (749551) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161463)

Why ban it when you just have to stop using it? If you are worried about others then in reality you have to accept there is really fuck all you can do about it. Get rid of booze and people will make it in their bathtubs, get rid of pot or coke and they will grow it in their backyards. You have to realize what part you really play in your community and realize in the grand scheme of things you only have yourself. So if you find yourself innondated by people who don't see yor side of the coin lobby to have them kicked out or leave yourself.

That is all

Re:And California is releasing the "non violent" (3, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161585)

It always bugs me when people use this argument, I would be all for banning alcohol as well, it does far more damage then other drugs, but unfortunately they tried at already and it didn't work

There's nothing wrong with the argument AFAICT. They ended Prohibition because it didn't work -- too many people drank anyway, all making it illegal did was drive everything underground and encourage crime -- and they should lift "Prohibition on Marijuana" for the exact same reasons.

Re:And California is releasing the "non violent" (1)

j. andrew rogers (774820) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161393)

USA has the highest rate of incarcerated people per capita of any country other than possibly China.

It is a bipartisan thing, unfortunately. Counter-intuitively, the most drug friendly states in the US tend to be western "red" states, due to their more libertarian perspective on individual liberty. For as nominally progressive as states like California are, their laws are awfully socially conservative even though they vote for people like Obama in a landslide. Honestly, most "blue" states are every bit as socially provincial as the "red" states. I guess that doesn't say much for American culture.

Re:And California is releasing the "non violent" (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161643)

The jailer's union has two friends: the liberals who are friends of unions, and the conservatives who need to be tough on crime.

They have little to worry about. The Teacher's union is similarly protected.

Flamebait? Really? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161545)

There would be some text here if I had something else to say, but I don't. I'm really just giving the lazy moderators a chance to see the parent post because I have the karma to burn.

we need to end drug prohibition (5, Insightful)

u4ya (1248548) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161027)

Ending prohibition of drugs would eliminate the underground market, would stop the funding of terrorist groups, would do MORE for treating drug addicts, and would save the billions currently spent annually on prohibition and incarceration of drug offenders. We need to treat drug use and drug abuse as a health issue, not a criminal issue. We need free choice for consenting adults, not a nanny-state solution imposed by the government.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (5, Insightful)

snappyjack (1147601) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161097)

Not to mention the fact that the drugs would be much more trustworthy; nobody would risk cutting their product with something harmful if there were a legal paper trail back to their business. The other danger of cutting, even with a harmless substance, is that it's impossible to know the true concentration of the drug when you buy it. This is exceptionally significant when talking about drugs with low dose and high potency, like LSD. If the system were regulated with laws allowing the consumer to inquire exactly what's in the substances they buy, the system would be worlds safer.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (1, Interesting)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161497)

Not to nitpick, but the cutting accuracy issue is with drugs that have a close effective and lethal dose. LSD's high potency has little to do with it.

As an aside, my high school physics teacher had a friend who was given a brownie with about 24mg of LSD in it (about 300 effective doses) at a party, as someone needed to dispose of it quickly and was afraid of any other method which might leave traces for the police. Surprisingly, the man survived, but developed terrible schizophrenia and had to be committed.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (3, Insightful)

HanzoSpam (713251) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161657)

Surprisingly, the man survived

Not surprising at all - no one has ever died of an overdose of LSD. Not to mention the link between LSD use and long-term psychosis is tenuous, at best. I would take that physics teacher's story with a big grain of salt.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (0, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161153)

I'm fine with your proposal as long as all of the supporters of free drug use are forced to live in the druggie parts of town.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (5, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161371)

I'm fine with your proposal as long as all of the supporters of free drug use are forced to live in the druggie parts of town.

You already do. Drugs, both legal and illegal are everywhere. From the wild cocaine parties of the rich and famous to the rampant use of pretty damned near everything by the 'middle class' and of course, the 'druggies'. If you think your neighbors aren't partaking of something you are either deluding yourself or living out with the sheep.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (2, Funny)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161505)

If I don't know they're doing drugs, then everything is just peachy. Or if I do know and it doesn't affect me.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161641)

"Drugs, both legal and illegal are everywhere. From the wild cocaine parties of the rich and famous to the rampant use of pretty damned near everything by the 'middle class' and of course, the 'druggies'."

I think the grandparent was meaning the negative side of the druggies.

I live in the ghetto, and the druggies here are much different than the ones in middle class society...I'm up in the middle of the night because I heard someone prowling around my backyard...a backyard with 7 foot padlocked fences meaning no one just wandered back there 'accidentally'.

No, the druggies in the poorer areas are violent and dangerous, and maybe a little more so because of the fact that the drug trade is illegal, but never the less, I don't think I need to worry about some yuppie with his coke party trying to see which of my basement windows is open and accidentally running into me in my living room in the middle of the night once he does.

Honestly, I've always looked at the drug laws as being irrelevant to anyone with a place in society and not completely stupid. I have never partaken of illegal drugs, but of my middle to upper class friends that do -- I don't know any that have to worry, nor make it a consideration at all. Of my friends that partake who are lower income, no job, look like hoodlums (because half the time they are acting as if they are) -- those folks are ALWAYS worried about getting busted. Makes you wonder? Be an upstanding citizen and you really don't have to worry, while if you can't keep a job (or a very low positional one), or you look like the dregs of society...you need to worry.

Maybe this is classist, but honest to garwd, I have no concern about yuppies having their coke parties are doing...when I was in the entertainment industry, I'd attend parties like this and even cops that stopped by said nothing. Me? Those places bored the hell out of me because, again, I don't do drugs (and of course, people who do them believe everyone does, and if you say you aren't, you are lying...at the time, I liked to drink and that was enough for me...so maybe that was my drug of choice and they are right).

So maybe the laws need to be changed to represent the reality of the situation...with position in society, you get privileges. Have a job and have stayed out of jail for X amount of years? Own a home, respect other peoples property? Yeah...we like you and don't care what the hell you do because you probably keep to yourself and are a functional user. Folks that seem to get arrested for things even when they aren't using or carrying? Yeah...you don't need drugs to get yourself in trouble, but it makes for a nice catch phrase why the man is always keeping you down. Its not your poor choices in life and infringement of others rights, it is the drug laws...that's right. If all the drug cases in prison were suddenly overturned, 95% of those people would be right back in jail in less than a year.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (1)

ragethehotey (1304253) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161375)

I'm fine with your proposal as long as all of the supporters of free drug use are forced to live in the druggie parts of town.

This is the kind of ignorance that leads to years of problems with backwards social policy, because it presumes that drug use isn't widespread throughout ALL social groups and classes. (read: If you knew the reality of the situation, every neighborhood would be "the druggie part of town")

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161589)

I'm fine with your proposal as long as all of the supporters of free drug use are forced to live in the druggie parts of town.

Which is going to be rather easier than living in the none "druggie" areas. The point of ending drug prohibition is that all the currently illegal drugs become treated just like all the currently legal drugs.

So what are you going to do about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161169)

I hate it when people complain about the things the government is doing to them. As long as we have a government that is some entity separate from the people, then you can bitch all you want but the government won't listen to you. (Sure you can lobby your representative. Just bring a dozen hookers and a huge briefcase of money and they might listen for a minute.)

The solution is to change the way we interact with government. Are you ready for an open source [metagovernment.org] government? Or do you want to whine some more about how the government should change when you know damn well it wont?

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161199)

The nanny state stuff is getting to be real nonsense. A state the values it citizens and attempts to preserve their lives is not nor ever was a nanny state. If fact the whole nanny state nonsense came about as a result of limits placed upon private interests and their ability to exploit the citizens of a nation.

Prison for drug users is not a nanny state solution, how could anyone consider the idea that preventing someone from using drug by imprisoning them for thirty years or more in harsh, violent and dehumanising institutions is what a nanny would recommend.

Destroying drug users was blatant knee jerk politics, peoples lives were destroyed so hard on crime arse holes could get elected. The war on drugs straight from hollywood movie scripts to real life, a fantasy becomes a real life nightmare, brought to you by what was nothing but a shallow self serving actor, who acted the part and used the best PR techniques and mass media to created an illusion that did not preserve the lives of millions of people but destroyed them and in the process sent billions of dollars up in smoke.

Not only was this not bad enough but, via threats of economic and military punishments this stupidity was forced on other countries, literally billions of peoples lives affected, so that some of the most worthless scum on the planet could empower and enrich themselves. Instead of throwing drug users in prison, they should have been throwing corrupt politicians and corporate executives in prison, what a different world in would be now if the last thirty years had not be blown on greed and stupidity.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161313)

Prison for drug users is not a nanny state solution

It comes down to defining "nanny state".

If it means "a state which intervenes in individual matters against the free will of the individual", it is a nanny state action; the harshness is irrelevant.

If it means "a state which acts in the best interest of an individual against the individual's free will", then you're right: drug criminalization is just simple, ugly corruption.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (1)

TheMCP (121589) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161455)

"We know better than you how you should live your life and will therefore make your decisions about what you can put into your body for you without you having a say in the matter" is the very definition of a nanny-state.

Yes, you're right, destroying people's lives by throwing them in jail is not the sort of thing a nanny would do, but it is the side effect of the nanny state solutions. That doesn't mean it's not a nanny state, it just means nanny has multiple personality disorder.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161595)

Right on.

I, for one, want to bring Nanny up on abuse charges. I want CASA supervision of Nanny.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (3, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161339)

Don't bring your bullshit terrorist funding into this argument. I'm all for ending drugs as much as the next guy, but don't even try to tell me that I'm buying pot from Osama Bin Laden every time I get high.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161417)

Marijuana is definitely not funding terrorists, but there's a fair to middling chance that illegally sourced stuff derived from opium poppies (heroin, etc.) came from the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161653)

Um, what exactly are the Mexican drug gangs if not terrorists? There were 10k murders last year in Mexico.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161381)

Not only are many of your stated facts questionable, but ignoring that, can we please define "drugs"? WHICH drugs? And "ending prohibition"? Does that mean completely legal?

I don't care if people walk around with a joint in their pocket. I do think injecting an 8 year old girl with heroin should be strictly illegal.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161447)

But, but that would hurt the cotton industry! We can't allow hemp to enter the market, it would actually force them to compete.

No, we must keep the superior hemp illegalized so that us cotton farmers can kick back and rake in the dough.

Hell, even Big Tobacco wouldn't like it. It's just more competition.

Re:we need to end drug prohibition (2, Informative)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161495)

You know what they called hemp clothing in the old days? Sackcloth. As in sackcloth and ashes. Yes, you can get decent clothing out of it, but try cotton of the same fibre quality level as those trendy hemp clothes (for instance fair trade organic cotton, it's usually ridiculously high fibre quality) and tell me there would be competition.
Hemp fibre would NOT kill cotton, any more than bloody terylene did. Lots of things you can blame cotton farmers for, banning cannabis isn't one of them.

How is this a tech story? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161029)

Must be slow news day.

Gangs are the root. Legalization is the pesticide (5, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161033)

Unless the drug trade is legalized, the gangs and drug cartels will always hold a monopoly on its sale. Decriminalizing minor possession does nothing but keep users on the street where they can continue to fund the gangs.

Mexico is in the middle of a huge drug war. The fighting is real and assassinations and kidnapping are frequent occurrences. This step seems to be a way of curbing the violence by letting users stay out of the prisons.

You aren't ever going to win the battle against weeds by cutting the leaves off. You need to pull the plant out by the root.

Re:Gangs are the root. Legalization is the pestici (2, Insightful)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161129)

The problem will likely be that they won't legalize the sale. If they only allow enough for personal use, the traditional dealers are out, and if they don't let people get licenses to sell or let doctors prescribe it (what doctor would prescribe meth? coke maybe.. but meth?) then the point of allowing possesion is sort of like DVDs and DECSS. "Sure, you can make backup copies! But no, sorry, you can't sell the software that can make them."

Re:Gangs are the root. Legalization is the pestici (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161141)

I take that back about prescribing meth:
http://www.brown.edu/Student_Services/Health_Services/Health_Education/atod/od_meth.html [brown.edu]

"Some people are prescribed methamphetamine for the treatment of narcolepsy or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, these are limited uses and the doses are much lower than doses that are typically used illegally."

But my original point remains.

Re:Gangs are the root. Legalization is the pestici (2, Informative)

Trailwalker (648636) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161359)

Back in the 70s, Dexedrine was prescribed for weight control. A chubby GF was an asset. Usual dose was 10 mg per day and Valium was the come down drug if you overdid the Dexedrine.

Both were easily obtained, legally.

Re:Gangs are the root. Legalization is the pestici (4, Interesting)

compro01 (777531) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161423)

For another interesting datapoint, MDMA (aka ecstasy) is FDA approved for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Re:Gangs are the root. Legalization is the pestici (1)

McBeer (714119) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161163)

You aren't ever going to win the battle against weeds by cutting the leaves off. You need to pull the plant out by the root.

I'm no botanist, but I'm pretty sure most plants die if you cut all their leaves off. But yes I agree with your larger point. Unless a legitimate trade can be established, this will do nothing to stop the illegitimate trade.

Re:Gangs are the root. Legalization is the pestici (1)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161321)

many plants have enough energy stored in the rest of the plant to bud more leaves. the cherry tree in my front yard is one of them.

Re:Gangs are the root. Legalization is the pestici (1)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161425)

Sure, many may die if you cut all the leaves off, but most? Probably not. And there are many factors to consider too. If you cut all the leaves off a maple or a tamarack in Vermont in November, the effect won't be very significant at all. But even if you cut all the leaves off a tropical plant in a regular tropical environment for example, the plant may very well die, but also may very well just lose a lot of its mass but in turn sprout some new leaves built from the nutrients stored in its stems and roots.

You could cut a gymnosperm tree clean down (let alone cut off all the leaves), but then you may yet see a little sprout come up from the stump -- the same organism.

Re:Gangs are the root. Legalization is the pestici (1)

carlzum (832868) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161413)

That was my first thought too. They're going to increase demand and not address supply? Who do they expect to produce the drugs? If anything, they should turn a blind-eye to production. It sounds crazy, but if possession remained a serious crime and demand was met by government protected suppliers, the cartels would have no source of revenue. After all, isn't drug use the argument against legalization?

In reality, that would result in unprecedented corruption and hostility with the US. But decriminalizing possession will probably do the same thing. American tourists are going to provide cartels with a lot more money and power. It's hard enough to control Mexican organized crime, this is going to make it much worse.

Re:Gangs are the root. Legalization is the pestici (2, Insightful)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161537)

I don't know why I bother replying, but...

First, "Drug cartels" is not a monopoly. There are more than one.

Second, look at the tobacco industry. Tobacco has always been legal, but people who profit from human suffering at that scale have always been, and will always be, scum. Sure, legal drug cartels might finance fewer gangs, but they'd finance more lobbyists instead.

Re:Gangs are the root. Legalization is the pestici (1)

OrigamiMarie (1501451) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161621)

There is one tiny way in which this small-scale legalization can help. It could allow small-time users of marijuana to keep a plant around, and not require them to interact with and feed the drug traders. It would probably make the whole process a little safer for them too, since they would know exactly what's in the stuff they are smoking. It might reduce the frequency of said people "upgrading" to stronger drugs, which in my opinion is a pretty big win.

Next slashdot article: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161035)

How to build and support a R.A.I.D. (redundant array of independent (drug) dealers).

Now dealers will have backups and if one gets taken down, don't worry! There's another one that can be brought 'online' to do his workload. And it's all legal since they each only deal in small amounts!

Just remember: RAID != BACKUP!!

Drug war = EPIC FAIL (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161055)

If the gov't didn't outlaw cannabis, we probaly would not have the hard drug and gang problem of today,

Legalize Selling (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161059)

You still have to deal with disreputable dealers, drugs which are laced with filler or worse, and the dangerous pain in the ass that scoring drugs usually is.

Legalize selling small quantities of these drugs and we will all be alot better off.

Score a bag of pot if you don't believe me.

Unforeseen effects (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161095)

Small-scale drug possession means realistic-scale drug possession for Barbie and Ken.

40mg of methampetamine? (2, Informative)

Peter Steil (1619597) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161109)

Well considering the smallest amount normally sold in North America is on average 100mg, (0.1g), does this mean all meth users are going to be criminals regardless?

Re:40mg of methampetamine? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161161)

Agreed. A gram of street quality speed is probably a good nite for 2 people

Re:40mg of methampetamine? (1)

Propagandhi (570791) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161631)

This regulation could certainly prevent prosection if residue in a smoking implement were found...

legalization (2, Informative)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161145)

Legalization is necessary; our society simply can't keep paying for prosecuting and incarcerating non-violent drug users, or the criminal activity resulting from the drug trade. However, full legalization is going to be tough: both drug dealers and drug enforcement agencies (including the UN) have a strong financial interest in keeping drugs illegal. And the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs [wikipedia.org] makes it hard for any single nation to change the status quo. That's one of the reasons why it's been hard for any nation to legalize drugs.

Re:legalization (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161177)

you must be on some drugs of your own sir to think drug dealers are going to have any say on such policy, or that the UN see's drugs as anything but a world wide problem.

the only reason no one has gone for wholesale legalisation is you'd have to have rocks in your head to stay there after. there's enough problems with legal drugs like alcohol, why do you people keep insisting the answer is MORE drugs?!?!

Re:legalization (2, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161353)

there's enough problems with legal drugs like alcohol

Prohibition didn't work for alcohol and it clearly isn't working for drugs.

why do you people keep insisting the answer is MORE drugs?!?!

You must have "rocks in your head" if you think that making drugs illegal stops people from using them.

Legalization would reduce the price of drugs and reduce crime. It would allow maintenance and treatment. And it would probably not increase drug usage any more; anybody who wants to use drugs is already using.

Re:legalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161395)

More drugs is what happens under Prohibition. Legalization is about regulating the drugs and integrating them into society safely so we can manage their effects. As long as drugs are pushed to the outskirts they will continue to be more dangerous than they need to be. As long as they are forbidden, society relinquishes control and leaves it to the drug users and drug dealers to sort out what to do about "the drug problem."

Re:legalization (1)

UCSCTek (806902) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161479)

Anyone with sufficient money, which includes large drug cartels, potentially has a say in politics. It is actually a bit naive to assume that, long-term, the level of drug use will be higher simply because of legalization. Perhaps the main reason: criminalization may not be stopping that many people from use. Anyway, the point you seem to be missing here is that by legalization, we can remove the problems like the black market and prosecution/enforcement/jailing expenses and use the savings to get abusers off of drugs.

Oh yeah, right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161157)

Like decriminalizing heroin is such a good idea. The decriminalization arguements go for marijuana, not the other drugs.

Re:Oh yeah, right (1)

Trailwalker (648636) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161405)

Yes, decriminalizing heroin is a good idea. Before it became a prohibited substance it was cheaply available in your neighborhood drug store. Addicts didn't have to resort to criminal activity to get their fix.

The same laws that apply to alcohol should apply to heroin and other drugs. Adults may damage themselves all they want, but keep it away from juveniles. Going about while under the influence of drugs would be just as illegal as public alcohol intoxication.

Alcohol was, is, and will continue to be the most deadly drug consumed by Americans.

Re:Oh yeah, right (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161519)

Adults may damage themselves all they want

I usually roll with the slashdot crowd on liberty issues but not here.

There's a reason medicine is locked up in pharmacies behind a prescription. People are stupid; very stupid. They don't understand the risks of overdose (people carelessly take too much acetaminophen and die of horrible liver failure). They don't understand the very complex and sometimes fatal interactions between even unrelated drugs. Some drugs like antiepileptics are dangerous even when taken exactly as directed, and patients need to be closely monitored by a doctor. Maybe illegal drug users would be savvy enough to understand the drugs they're taking, but not soccer moms. Heroin isn't any safer than those prescription drugs. Maybe LSD would be OK, that's supposed to be a very safe drug.

Yeah from a liberty perspective you ask "wait, why can't I spend every weekend quivering in bed if I want to, but I definitely see why those responsible for social order (and health insurance :p) would have an interest in keeping people active, buying hamburgers, that sort of thing.

Re:Oh yeah, right (5, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161633)

I usually roll with the slashdot crowd on liberty issues but not here. There's a reason medicine is locked up in pharmacies behind a prescription. People are stupid; very stupid.

Generally speaking, I agree with you -- heroine is a much more dangerous drug than, say, marijuana, and it should be kept out of peoples' hands to the extent possible.

The tough question, however, is how do we go about doing that? The current method -- making heroine illegal to sell or possess -- had had limited success, to put it diplomatically. Heroine junkies can still get heroine whenever they want it and can pay for it; their only problem is raising the cash to pay for their addiction, which is often done through petty crime.

So making heroine illegal has made heroin expensive, and thereby encourages heroine junkies to become criminal heroine junkies. Not exactly the result we wanted. (It may have kept some unknown other number of people from trying heroine in the first place -- but it's impossible to know how many. Personally I would imagine that heroine's reputation is a more effective deterrent than law enforcement in that regard, but that's just a guess)

I don't have a solution to the problem; I wish I did.

Re:Oh yeah, right (1)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161647)

Yeah from a liberty perspective you ask "wait, why can't I spend every weekend quivering in bed if I want to, but I definitely see why those responsible for social order (and health insurance :p) would have an interest in keeping people active, buying hamburgers, that sort of thing.

Then you don't actually understand the "liberty perspective." -- "[..] responsible for social order"? Really?

Maybe this example will encourage the US. (1)

bezenek (958723) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161211)

If Mexico is able to show good results with this, maybe it will make sense to look at doing something similar in the US. At least someone in North America is trying it.

Of course, San Francisco is ignoring marijuana for personal use, as is Canada (as mentioned by someone else in an earlier comment), but I do not think marijuana is the "problem drug" from which we need to help people recover. Given a choice between marijuana and alcohol, I think we would do better paying more attention to alcohol. Similarly, given the choice between marijuana and crack/meth/heroin/etc., I think marijuana is not the larger problem.

Todd

Note for employers: I do not use any illicit drugs.

here in vancouver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161223)

Posession of less than an ounce of BC bud is essentially legal. If you get caught with some pot the cops will take it and possibly give you a ticket. Everyone knows cops get the best dope, and coffee and doughnuts are great munchies.

I think decriminalization is a good first step, but if selling drugs is still illegal then gangs will still have their main source of income intact. At least police will have more time to focus on crimes that harm others..

The war on drugs is over... (5, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161237)

The war on drugs is over. Everybody lost.

Re:The war on drugs is over... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161357)

It's not a war on drugs, it's a war on personal freedom.

Re:The war on drugs is over... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161409)

Keep this in mind at all times. Thank you.

Re:The war on drugs is over... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161403)

Wars typically end that way.

Mexican legal limits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161253)

Small amounts of drugs, small amounts being defined as anything under a 1000 kilos, are now considered legal in Mexico. Mexican drug lords vowed to fight the new laws pushing for more reasonable limits of 10,000 kilos of cocaine and 100,000 kilos of pot.

yeah they tried this once (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161261)

and america got mad rattled its checkbook and threatened to take away billions in aid money and they backed off.
What are the chances they wont just give in again

WTF? (-1, Flamebait)

bakedpatato (1254274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161267)

is this story doing on /., a GEEK website. not a politics website last time I checked (unless its about the politics of OSes)

hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161275)

That's a nice try, but the drugs are still illegal and non regulated = murder, black market, corrpution.

Already been tried in Portugal (2, Interesting)

j. andrew rogers (774820) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161335)

Total decriminalization of drugs has been tried in Portugal since 2001, and by all accounts has been a raging success by just about any metric you care to use. I'm happy to see other countries jumping on board the clue train, not that I expect to see something similar in the US for the foreseeable future.

For more on the Portuguese experience, see: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/14/portugal/ [salon.com]

News for nerds? (1, Insightful)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161347)

Why is this news for nerds? As a nerd I try to remain rational and therefor to absorb the world as clear as possible. Drugs just don't fit in.
I have tried marijuana a couple of times to fit in with the others and to experiment the sensation. Sure I had a few great laughs but the effects on the awareness are horrible and take long to completely get out of your system. I'd have a similar story for alcohol.

Although I sympathize with less zealous drugs policies because tougher ones do not solve the problem -which possibly isn't truly there- but just create more criminals, I cannot see why this is of relevance in a nerds forum.

Re:News for nerds? (1)

tirefire (724526) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161461)

Well, the problem is that you tried the wrong drugs. You're a nerd, I'm a nerd, we're mostly all nerds here. Generally speaking, if a group of nerds want to get high, they should focus not on psychedelics/hypnotics (Marijuana) nor CNS depressants (alcohol).

No, if you want a high that fits with the nerd lifestyle, try speed. Or meth, or coke, or most any other stimulant. You think caffeine makes you feel like a counter-strike god? You ain't seen nothin' yet.

However, hardcore stimulants can be pretty fiendish and physically dangerous. If those put you off, there's always ecstasy (MDMA). Seriously, nerds need some love, too.

Re:News for nerds? (5, Informative)

sakari (194257) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161543)

As a fellow nerd I have to tell you that some critical parts of our computer technology these days was built with the help of these 'drugs', or more clearly psychedelics and more precisely LSD. See: http://open.salon.com/blog/hal_m/2009/07/09/lsd_inventor_hofmanns_letter_to_steve_jobs [salon.com] and http://heroux.blogspot.com/2006/03/this-is-your-computer-on-lsd.html [blogspot.com] for a couple of good starting points for you too look at.

What I hear from it's a great way to boost you way of analytic, mathematical and engineering way of thinking. Now, I'm not saying we should promote use of any of these substances, but I'm saying we should aknowledge them and use them in a controlled way for the benefit of human kind. Psychedelics can unlock huge potentials in human beings, why are we denying this still ? The native people of different regions of the world have known this for centuries. Too bad we are still being led by medical companies and other huge colloborations of humans who like their materialistic ways of lifes too much to really let the human race take off.

An opinion from mexico (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161365)

Ok, all of yours like to legalize drugs. You see this law with the light of US law enforcement, where things are always "perfect". I live in Mexico, and this will be just another excuse for cops avoid to do their work and let people sell drugs on streets, as it happens now. This only will encourage drug groups for sell more and more drugs always under the "dangerous size" and with time to not fear cops or any law enforcement groups . Like happens in Tijuana, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and the rest of the country.

It's easy for you say "bring me the drugs", you don't fear everyday to end in middle of a gun shooting for drug wars. Or a stoned dude does a silly thing like jump in the subway or harm you for money for get the "personal share" of drugs. You live so far of those troubles and of course is easy to say that, so you need drugs to "spark" your mediocre lifes. Bunch of hypocrites.

I'll surprised if this won't be cut off of the site. :P

Re:An opinion from mexico (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161645)

I've been to Mexico. You need to tackle corruption first, then worry about drugs.

A step in the right direction (1)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161367)

Kudos to Mexicans and their government!

The drug war is one of the most inhumane, counterproductive, unethical, and mostly illegal uses of government power in the course of human history. It kills, injures, and incarcerates millions of people worldwide, strips people of their hard-won rights, and provides money to illicit/secret government programs.

May this be the start of the end of this horrible chapter in human history.

Prohibition 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161397)

Mafia - Cartels
Rum Runners - Drug Mules

Same Problem, Same Solution

"The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law, For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this."
Albert Einstein - 1921

Seriously when was the last time someone got shot in a Beer Sale Gone Wrong?

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29161415)

News for Geeks? Huh? Why is this here?

About time (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161515)

Hopefully this time they won't give in to pressure from the U.S.

Legalize drugs, give me my freedom back, and watch every drug cartel implode overnight--as well as ending the civil wars in Columbia and Afghanistan.

Just sayin'.

Ineffective dose of LSD (2, Informative)

borcharc (56372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29161561)

AP piece says 0.015 mg of LSD, or 15 ug, a ineffective dose of LSD. 60-100 ug is common for street doses. Perhaps the AP misread the law and its 150 ug, a more realistic number compared to the other amounts.

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