Current Events

Drugs: U.S. versus Mexico

Less than two weeks ago, the New York Times (“Report Illumintes Wide Divide…“) reported that FDA has denied that there are any medicinal benefits to marijuana. The article continues stating:

While it has always been the drug enforcement agency’s policy to enforce laws against marijuana, [DEA spokeswomen] Ms. Waite said, “now it’s clearly out there, so that people don’t have to look everywhere to figure this out.”

Currently, eleven states have legalized medical marijuana. They are: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Islande, Vermont, and Washington. Nevertheless, the U.S. penal code states that:

…any person can be imprisoned for up to one year for possession of one marijuana cigarette and imprsoned for up to five years for growing a single marijuana plant.

One the other hand, yesterday, Mexican President Vicente Fox announced that he would sign a bill which would legalize most drugs currently deemed illegal in the United States. The L.A. Times (“Mexico to Allow Use of Drugs“) finds that under the new law

Selling drugs or using them in public still would be a crime in Mexico. Anyone possessing drugs still could be held for questioning by police, and each state could impose fines even on the permitted quantities, the bill stipulates. But it includes no imprisonment penalties.

If you are keeping score at home, libertarians win one in Mexico, lose one in the U.S.