Mexico's Calderon proposes UN lead debate on drug policy

Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:40pm EDT

* Outgoing leader calls for debate on drug policy

* 60,000 Mexicans dead in drug violence since 2006

By Brian Winter

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 26 (Reuters) - The United Nations should lead a global debate over a less "prohibitionist" approach to drug policy, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said on Wednesday in the latest attempt by a Latin American leader to float possible changes to international narcotics laws.

Calderon, who leaves office on Dec. 1 after spending much of his presidency locked in a bloody battle with drug-smuggling gangs, told the U.N. General Assembly that organized crime was "one of the most serious threats of our time."

"Today, I am proposing formally that (the United Nations) ... carry out a far-reaching assessment of the progress and the limits of the current prohibitionist approach to drugs," Calderon said.

Calderon did not specifically say what an alternative approach to drug policy might look like. However, he and some other Latin American leaders including Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos have suggested they might be open to legalization of some narcotics if that helped reduce violence.

The small, relatively prosperous South American nation of Uruguay has gone even further, sending a law to Congress last month that would allow the state to grow and sell marijuana.

It was unclear whether Calderon's proposal would find a receptive audience. The U.S. government remains opposed to more lax drug laws, and Calderon's global influence has diminished since his successor, Enrique Pena Nieto of the opposition PRI party, was elected in July.

An estimated 60,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence during Calderon's six-year presidency as he attempted to crack down on powerful drug smuggling gangs.

Calderon said his proposal did not mean "ceding an inch" to international drug gangs. He also reiterated previous calls for consumer markets, including the neighboring United States, to take more initiatives to reduce demand for cocaine and other narcotics.

Calderon has also repeatedly called on Washington to tighten gun controls to stop weapons flowing from the United States into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. He has also urged Washington to revive a ban on assault weapons in the United States that expired in 2004.

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Comments (1)
tonydfixer wrote:
Calderon has the right idea. There is no one in any country that can stop the demand for any substance. It is human nature to alter consciousness. It is something humans have been doing forever.Who has the right to decide for others what substance they can use? Now we have decided that we as humans are permitted to rot our bodies with the caustic body killing substances of alcohol & tobacco, but we are not permitted to use less harmful substances,who has that right? In the USA supposedly we have the right to life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness. So I think that the war on drugs goes against all interpretations of liberty & freedom. As long as a person is not interfering with another persons life, liberty, & freedom no one should judge them. All this war is about is money. If it examined to the core that is what will be found.
Now it has been way out of logical reasoning when there is more damage & death being done fighting substances, than the substance itself…Tonydfixer….Seattle.

Sep 27, 2012 8:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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