Drug Decriminalization Takes Effect in Mexico

Mexico's law decriminalizing possession of illegal drugs for personal use, which I noted a couple of months ago, took effect today. The quantity limits are pretty stingy: five grams (about a fifth of an ounce) for marijuana, half a gram for cocaine, 50 milligrams for heroin, and 40 milligrams for methamphetamine. According to A.P., the cutoff for LSD is 0.015 milligram, or 15 micrograms, far less than a typical dose of 100 to 150 micrograms.

From now on, drug users who are caught with less than those amounts cannot be prosecuted. Instead, they will be offered treatment the first couple of times, after which treatment will be mandatory. A spokesman for the Mexican attorney general's office tells A.P. drug users carrying such tiny amounts were almost never prosecuted anyway, but they were subject to shakedowns by the police. "The bad thing was that it was left up to the discretion of the detective," he says, "and it could open the door to corruption or extortion."

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  • Paul||

    Apropos of this, there was a story on NPR about California prison reform, and how they need to figure out how to reduce the overcrowding by releasing certain prisoners that would qualify.

    Guess what never even got a mention?

  • Paul||

    The quantity limits are pretty stingy: five grams (about a fifth of an ounce) for marijuana, half a gram for cocaine, 50 milligrams for heroin, and 40 milligrams for methamphetamine.

    That's five grams, half a gram, 50 milligrams and 40 milligrams more than we can possess here.

  • ||

    "almost never prosecuted anyway, but they were subject to shakedowns by the police."

    very true. a $20 or $50 "fine" was always better than the american alternative though.

    Paul:

    drug offenders?

  • polio robot||

    "Guess what never even got a mention?"

    It's because the people in prison for certain drugs are, for a lack of better words, political prisoners.

  • ||

    Yeah, the amount of pot you can carry is stingy. But I think the significance is that Mexico dared to defy everyone's boss (and I do mean EVERYONE), the feds, and passed this legislation.

  • Steven Emory||

    Yes... this should send a message to the entire world. Illegal substances are controlled by the black market, not the government.

  • ||

    1/2 gram of cola - sheez, who doesn't have that much in their watch pocket right now?

  • Jim Bob||

    How long before the US puts the diplomatic screws on Mexico?

  • Tony Moxham||

    The US should really not be involved with Mexican Law in this capacity, no? Would you have, for example, China having a say in Mexico's drug laws? Why? Mexico should establish its own laws free of the US. As should every country!

  • Joe M||

    This is awesome. I think the analogy we're looking for is "foot in the door."

  • ||

    Update on crack / powder cocaine sentencing disparity.

  • Nipplemancer||

    mandatory treatment sounds sinister to me. calderoncare? seriously, does mexico even have rehab?
    does asking that question make me a racist? probably.

  • Tony Moxham||

    Yes it does. Mexico is not a backwater. Rather, it deals with its' own national issues with intelligence and local intuition. And we all know, as I presume this conversation is about cocaine, Mexico is not the root of drug problems. By any measure.

  • roystgnr||

    This is great for the liberty of the people who would otherwise be unfairly jailed; it may not be great for promoting the cause of liberty in the long run. The clearest pragmatic benefit of legalizing victimless crimes is the resulting elimination of the black market and its associated real crimes... but that's not going to happen here, is it? If anything, legalizing demand will just make the black market for supply even worse.

  • ewwbl||

    "The bad thing was that it was left up to the discretion of the detective," he says, "and it could open the door to corruption or extortion."

    More than the well financed drug cartels and a policeman's salary? I think that door is open

  • alice bowie||

    Liva Las Drogas !!!

  • ||

    "how to reduce the overcrowding by releasing certain prisoners that would qualify.

    "Guess what never even got a mention?"

    An important reason that it wasn't mentioned is that they want to slightly reduce prison populations; they don't want to have to close half of them entirely.

  • ||

    "An important reason that it wasn't mentioned is that they want to slightly reduce prison populations; they don't want to have to close half of them entirely.


    hahahahahahaha

  • ||

    Update on crack / powder cocaine sentencing disparity.


    From the link

    Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) introduced an amendment to address the disparity by making the current draconian penalties for crack apply to powder cocaine as well. He said he supported reducing the sentencing disparity, but "let's do it on the side of making sure our streets are safer, not less safe."


    The idiocy contained in that statement leaves me temporarily speechless.

  • ||

    Oh yeah,

    Good on ya, Mexico!

  • ||

    "Senator Leahy and I were talking during these hearings, we're going to do that crack cocaine thing you and I have talked about before,"

  • ||

    "Foot in the Door", indeed. This is good news. I believe the first step to legalizing marijuana in the US is decriminalizing possesion in small amount. This is already the case in some big cities where possesion is considered a "low priority" crime, eg. they don't go after you for smoking a joint.

  • ||

    I have despised Issa since learning that he made his money in selling car alarms, the auditory scourge of modern man. Fucker.

  • ||

    "the auditory scourge of modern man."


    the IRS?

  • IceTrey||

    Who has a watch pocket?

  • ||

    I have one in my tux. In which I place my pocket watch, which I only use when I'm wearing my tux. Which came first?

  • ||

    Icetrey: check your right hand front of your jeans. In your case, probably down around your knee. ;^)

  • ||

    Almost every pair of blue jeans has a watch pocket. It's that little pocket on the inside of the regular right-hand pocket - the one that is only big enough to hold your cocaine. That one. (I've heard it called a watch pocket...don't know if that is correct)

  • ||

    guess I didn't see Kant feel Pietzche's post before mine...

  • guy in the back row||

    five grams (about a fifth of an ounce) for marijuana

    I seem to hazily remember from college that an ounce has a little bit over 28 grams. Must have been from a metrics class ;)

  • Paul||

    Paul:

    drug offenders?


    You get the cookie. Yep, no mention of possibly releasing non-violent drug offenders, or even the more far-reaching prison reform: changing how we deal with non-violent drug offenders to slow the future growth of prison populations.

    Nope, not one word.

    J sub D, if I had the energy, I would find my post suggesting that the politicians would want to do EXACTLY THAT (upping the sentencing for powder cocaine) and I was admonished for being a negative nelly.

    Why are my pessimisms right more often than my optimisms?

  • ||

    cookie? i wanted crack!

  • name withheld to protect the g||

    I seem to hazily remember from college that an ounce has a little bit over 28 grams. Must have been from a metrics class ;)

    For some reason I always remembered it as 1/8 ounce is about 3.5 grams... :)

  • ||

    When I was a youngster, weed came in ounces, quarter pounds and pounds. hell, hash didn't even come in grams back then.

  • Robert||

    This is great for the liberty of the people who would otherwise be unfairly jailed; it may not be great for promoting the cause of liberty in the long run. The clearest pragmatic benefit of legalizing victimless crimes is the resulting elimination of the black market and its associated real crimes... but that's not going to happen here, is it? If anything, legalizing demand will just make the black market for supply even worse.


    I don't see how it makes it worse. The purveyors will be taking the same chance as before.

  • ||

    "Foot in the Door", indeed. This is good news. I believe the first step to legalizing marijuana in the US is decriminalizing possesion in small amount. This is already the case in some big cities where possesion is considered a "low priority" crime, eg. they don't go after you for smoking a joint."

    yeah. seattle has such a policy. fwiw, the de facto case is that for many street cops - possession of small amounts is going to result them dumping it on the sidewalk (or better, to have the owner do it) and give a verbal warning.

    as somebody who has been in law enforcement 20 yrs, i have seen this happen many times. it's pretty much par for the course.

    in the first agency i worked for, my chief came straight out and said "i don't give a flying fuck if people want to smoke a little marijuana in the privacy of their house". and this guy was one of the squarest (but nicest) guy's i have ever met.

    it's sad, especially considering our financial mess that legislatures won't wake up and legalize/TAX it.

    i can't believe im promoting taxation in a libertarian blog, but i'd rather have legalization w/taxation, than criminalization.

  • ||

    dunphy:

    are you familiar w/ oath keepers?

  • Hacha Cha||

    free at last! free at last! well almost. fuck yeah, time to go south of the border. will need air guns though because of firearms restrictions.

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