The News Today
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9.21.19
Drug Deal

Mexico Wants the United States to Decriminalize All Drugs

May 10th 19__Kristin Houser__Filed Under: Future Society
Shutterstock/Victor Tangermann

The More on Drugs

Mexico’s new president has a plan to decriminalize all drugs — and he’s hopeful the U.S. will follow his lead.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s recently released National Development Plan for 2019-2024 asserts that the international “war on drugs” has failed. In light of that, he believes it’s time for Mexico and other nations to lift bans on illegal drugs. It’s a bold plan that could signal a new era in drug legislation — or invite international ridicule.

Treat, Don’t Punish

The new plan suggests redirecting any money currently spent on policing illegal drugs toward programs to help users get clean and rejoin society — a position that’s already being lauded by many drug reform advocates, including Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

“Mexico’s president is rightly identifying one of the major drivers of violence and corruption in his country: the prohibition of drugs,” she told Newsweek. “The next step is to translate words into action, by pursuing both a domestic and international agenda of drug policy reform, grounded in respect for human rights.”

Shifting Tide

Some of that reform is already happening north of the Mexican border.

States are legalizing cannabis — not just for medical purposes, but recreational ones as well — and just this week, Denver residents voted to decriminalize psilocybin, the trip-inducing compound found in “magic mushrooms.”

Still, at the federal level, the U.S. still seems largely committed to prohibition  — and it might take more than the words of a new Mexican president to change that.

READ MORE: MEXICO WANTS TO DECRIMINALIZE ALL DRUGS AND NEGOTIATE WITH THE U.S. TO DO THE SAME [Newsweek]

More on drugs: Denver Becomes First u.s. City to Decriminalize “Magic Mushrooms”