Just say no (to the war on drugs)
When I think of progressive government, Mexico is hardly the first place that comes to mind. But our friends south of the border have just moved a step or two ahead of the United States when it comes to sensible drug policy:
Police will not penalize people for possessing up to 5 grams of marijuana, 5 grams of opium, 25 milligrams of heroin or 500 milligrams of cocaine, under a bill passed by senators late on Thursday and earlier approved by the lower house.
People caught with larger quantities of drugs will be treated as narcotics dealers and face increased jail terms under the plan.
The government says the measure allows police to focus on major drug dealers, and President Fox is expected to sign it into law.
Now, the Mexicans are still going to have to live with the consequences of prohibition--namely, violence and corruption. But they no doubt will save money on the prosecution and incarceration of drug users, who will be free to engage in an activity that should be treated no differently than drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes.
If only American politicians were so enlightened.