Drug Policy

Is Acapulco the New Amsterdam?

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A.P. reports that "Mexico's new drug use law worries US police." Specifically, San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne says now that possessing small quantities of drugs is no longer subject to criminal penalties in Mexico, college students "will go because they can get drugs." San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore likewise warns:

It provides an officially sanctioned market for the consumption of the world's most dangerous drugs. For the people of San Diego the risk is direct and lethal. There are those who will drive to Mexico to use drugs and return to the U.S. under their influence.

Since it remains illegal in Mexico to sell any quantity of drugs or to possess more than small amounts (e.g., a fifth of an ounce of pot and a few lines of cocaine), these concerns seem overblown. Americans might be more inclined to use drugs in Mexico now that they no longer have to worry about getting arrested (provided they stay below the legal limits), but getting the drugs won't be any easier (unlike, say, in the Netherlands, where the government tolerates the open retail sale of cannabis). It's simply inaccurate to say the new law "provides an officially sanctioned market." As for stoned drivers coming back from Mexico, if they replace drunk drivers San Diego might see a public safety improvement, since marijuana does not impair driving ability as much as alcohol does.

This A.P. article repeats a contradiction I've noticed in several other stories about decriminalization in Mexico. It says one aim of the change is to "make room in overcrowded prisons for violent traffickers rather than small-time users." Yet Mexico's attorney general says drug users were very rarely prosecuted, let alone imprisoned, for simple possession under the old law. They were, however, vulnerable to shakedowns by police, who extorted money from them under the threat of arrest. The new law means police can no longer follow through on such threats, so it should reduce harassment and petty corruption.

[Thanks to Abdul for the tip.]

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  1. Because drugs were so hard to get in Mexico before.

  2. It provides an officially sanctioned market for the consumption of the world’s most dangerous drugs.

    Drug warriors say the most brazenly stupid things. Alcohol is the world’s most dangerous drug, and Topeka provides an officially sanctioned market for that.

  3. No longer will will kids be heading to Mexico for innocent spring-break pastimes, like tequila-fueled, anonymous buttsecks.

  4. The new law means police can no longer follow through on such threats, so it should reduce harassment and petty corruption.

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day.

  5. Fools! Sullum’s article will surely bring Juanita out of her cave! Followed shortly by J sub D waxing poetic of his love to woo her.

  6. They were, however, vulnerable to shakedowns by police, who extorted money from them under the threat of arrest. The new law means police can no longer follow through on such threats, so it should reduce harassment and petty corruption.

    Jacob, you might consult with Radley on the concept of the “throwdown”.

  7. The new law means police can no longer follow through on such threats, so it should reduce harassment and petty corruption.

    Jacob has obviously never spent time in a border town. Oh, they can’t arrest you for marijuana possession? They’ll just have to find some other excuse, like public intox or jaywalking or being American. I had a friend who got detained and threatened with arrest 3 times in one night. 20 bucks, 20 bucks, and the third time he was out of cash, so they took his watch.

  8. This sort of reaction is always funny. As if people can’t already get all the drugs they want in California (or any place else in the country). It is like the people who oppose medical cannabis because some might get diverted to the illicit market. Someone needs to point out to these people that people can already get all of the drugs they want (if they can afford it).

  9. “This sort of reaction is always funny. As if people can’t already get all the drugs they want in California (or any place else in the country). It is like the people who oppose medical cannabis because some might get diverted to the illicit market. Someone needs to point out to these people that people can already get all of the drugs they want (if they can afford it).”

    You have to understand, when nothing bad happens in Mexico and in fact things get better, they are going to have to explain why it would be the end of the world if we did the same thing here. The whole prohibitionist case is based on horror story hypotheticals. That is why they oppose legalizing drugs anywhere for any reason, lest reality interfere with the myth. Things like this terrify prohibitionists.

  10. The new law means police can no longer follow through on such threats, so it should reduce harassment and petty corruption.

    I think that’s the part that worries US officials.

    “Dammit Juan, this new law will make US cops look corrupt even by Mexican standards!”

  11. There are those who will drive to Mexico to use drugs and return to the U.S. under their influence.

    So what you’re saying here, Mr. Douchebag, is that Americans want to be high. Agreed. Why fight it?

  12. Every year in San Diego one of the local news channels will do a “shocking expose” about college kids drinking in Tiajuana.

  13. why they changed the name I can’t say
    maybee they just like dit better that way

  14. So what you’re saying here, Mr. Douchebag, is that Americans want to be high. Agreed. Why fight it?

    Why the war on drugs will always be a failure in 5 words:

    People want to get high.

  15. Damn tags should close themselves.

  16. “Dammit Juan, this new law will make US cops look corrupt even by Mexican standards!”

    LOL.

  17. “Is Acapulco the New Amsterdam?”

    Yes, because before the law changed, it was impossible to find drugs in Nuevo Lerado. But now you can!

  18. Didn’t we all know that the prohibitionists would be wetting their pants over this?

    Don’t we all now know that William Lansdowne is a dumbass?

  19. doesn’t the Chief of SDPD realize that people in california can quasi-legally purchase marijuana at dispensaries, and legally possess ten times as much marijuana as long as you have a valid medcard than allowed in Mexico?
    fucktard

  20. For the people of San Diego the risk is direct and lethal. There are those who will drive to Mexico to use drugs and return to the U.S. under their influence.

    You

    pathetic

    pussy.

  21. “For the people of San Diego the risk is direct and lethal. There are those who will drive to Mexico to use drugs and return to the U.S. under their influence.”

    The “if we legalize drugs pot heads are going to get high and drive” argument is a pretty common justification among the prohibitionists I know. And it is good evidence that it is impossible to have an intelligent conversation about drugs in this country.

  22. As for stoned drivers coming back from Mexico, if they replace drunk drivers San Diego might see a public safety improvement, since marijuana does not impair driving ability as much as alcohol does.

    [citation needed, even though you’re right]

  23. “Dammit Juan, this new law will make US cops look corrupt even by Mexican standards!”

    Mexican standards? Racist!!!

  24. Jacob has obviously never spent time in a border town. Oh, they can’t arrest you for marijuana possession? They’ll just have to find some other excuse, like public intox or jaywalking or being American. I had a friend who got detained and threatened with arrest 3 times in one night. 20 bucks, 20 bucks, and the third time he was out of cash, so they took his watch.

    Let’s not forget public urination, which is pretty common in Tijuana, and spitting on the sidewalk. The shakedown anecdote just reminded me of a friend’s advice for traveling abroad. He said, “Whatever you do, don’t keep all your cash in your wallet. Have a 20 in each sock, a few in your pockets etc. Never pull out your wallet, because they are likely to just take all your money, and then their partner will come over looking for a bribe and you will be tapped out.”

    1. we have people urinating and vomiting on our buildings and streets right here in san diego every weekend due to the over use of alcohol. The chief of police should be more worries about the underage drinking problem we have here and less about a law that really wont change much, guess our border patrol will have to be more aware of people under the influence….since thats partly their job and all…..

  25. “For the people of San Diego the risk is direct and lethal. There are those who will drive to Mexico to use drugs alcohol and return to the U.S. under their influence.”

  26. You have to understand, when nothing bad happens in Mexico and in fact things get better, they are going to have to explain why it would be the end of the world if we did the same thing here.

    Exactly. This will be another data point that will make prohibitions look as bat shit insane as say promoting female circumcision (aka mutilation). And prohibition is bat shit insane.

    1. As insane as promoting male circumcision (aka mutilation) too? Or are you a raging hypocrite?

  27. “For the people of San Diego the risk is direct and lethal. There are those who will drive to Mexico to use drugs and return to the U.S. under their influence.”

    It’s a 1500 mile drive from Acapulco to San Diego – that would be one helluva bender!

  28. How do the moron cops quoted here get any press time in the face of overwhelming evidence against the positions they hold? Why doesn’t the press print the truth? When did cops become the authority on anything. My teenage children are better sources to quote than these idiots. Disgusting piece of propaganda!

    1. I completely agree have they become so disconnected from reality they have stopped looking at our streets? and where is the news when girls are getting raped and beaten due to underage partys

  29. You have to understand, when nothing bad happens in Mexico and in fact things get better, they are going to have to explain why it would be the end of the world if we did the same thing here.

    Exactly. This will be another data point that will make prohibitions look as bat shit insane as say promoting female circumcision (aka mutilation). And prohibition is bat shit insane.

    ————————-

    Sadly the old corrupt ideologues who are protecting the markets for big pharma and the prison unions will ignore all common sense evidence the same way they do now. We need a peaceful revolution!!! Use your feet and march against the tyranny of oppression!!!!

    Example: watch “Run from the Cure” (Google it)the story of a Canadian man who is curing cancer with a cannabis oil extract while the government tries to shut him down. You can’t patent a plant.

  30. “You can’t patent a plant.”

    Tell that to Monsanto. Pharmaceutical companies could absolutely patent marijuana based medicines. Companies can patent processes they use to make marijuana products. They can and do have intellectual property rights in strains of plants that they develop. They could make money from marijuana.

  31. If you are looking for a condo on the beach in Acapulco, fully with high speed internet and US/Canadian Satellite HDTV and all new modern furnishings all under $60,000, check out AcaCondos!

    http://www.acacondos.com

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