Monday, October 27, 2008

U.S. DRUG CZAR SUPPORTS MEXICAN DECRIMINALIZATION PLAN

The Marijuana Policy Project congratulated White House drug czar John Walters for backing a Mexican government proposal that would remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. "I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but John Walters is right," said MPP executive director Rob Kampia.

On Oct. 22, The New York Times reported Walters' public support for a drug decriminalization proposal by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, quoting Walters as saying, "I don't think that's legalization." Under Calderon's proposal, individuals caught with small quantities of marijuana would receive no jail sentence or fine and would not receive a criminal record so long as they complete either drug education or, if addicted, drug treatment. The Mexican president's proposal would also decriminalize possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

"It's fantastic that John Walters has recognized the massive destruction the drug war has inflicted on Mexico and is now calling for reforms there, but he's a rank hypocrite if he continues opposing similar reforms in the U.S.," Kampia said. "

In a March 19, 2008, press release from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, deputy director Scott Burns called a New Hampshire proposal to impose a $200 fine rather than jail time for a small amount of marijuana "a dangerous first step toward complete drug legalization."

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