UNGASS: Latam's stands on the war on drugs

This week the UN General Assembly (UNGASS), met to talk about the war on drugs.  After three decades it is clear that changes have to be made, but which ones?

The war on drugs have punished severly Colombia, Paru, Mexico and Bolivia, because as producers they have been deemed responsible of much of this problem.  The costs this aproach, on these countries have been steep, not just in money, but in violence and lifes.

So we should listen what this countries bring to the table.

Colombia’s Santos calls for new approach on Drugs

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said in his speech that the war on drugs has been a failure and that a new approach is needed to tackle the problem.

Santos made it clear the Andean nation did not advocate the legalization of illicit substances and would continue to combat drug trafficking, but he stressed the importance of new approaches that prioritize human rights and treat drug consumption as a public health problem.

Mexico’s President Wants to Liberalize Marijuana Laws

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said that he will ask lawmakers to legalize medicinal marijuana and raise the pot-possession threshold for criminal charges.

The president’s proposal would decriminalize possession of up to 28 grams (just under an ounce) of marijuana for personal consumption, compared with the current legal limit of 5 grams.

The initiative incorporates ideas expressed during a series of government-sponsored forums on marijuana use.

Bolivian Leader Evo Morales said Drug War a pretext for U.S. intervention

The militarized, prohibitionist approach to the problem has been a failure, he said during the drug-policy summit .

“From the decade of the (19)80s the misnamed war on drugs has brought us to a scenario that systematically violated countries’ sovereignty and worsened public health conditions and internal security,” the Bolivian said.

He called on the General Assembly to implement “concrete actions” to end the use of the drug problem “as a pretext for domination.”
Peru presented alternative development proposal

Peru presented alternative development proposal

"Peru has brought its added-value alternative development scheme at UNGASS. I would say only two nations in the world rely on this value: Peru and Thailand. The program has worked out in both countries," Otarola

Nowadays, Peruvian families —who grew illegal coca crops in the past— are able to harvest and export coffee and cocoa, products shipped to US and European markets.

You may agree with some of these positions or not, but what is painfully clear is that a change of strategy is needed.  But as long as money is the main motivation in the War on Drugs, and not the public health, most of what have been said on this summit is academic

LatinAmerican Post |Ricardo Avella G

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