More Latin American countries are now permissive with drug abusers.
Cocaine bricks (photo DEA website)
Brazil and Mexico, the two largest economies in Latin America, are taking the lead in a new approach to individual drug consumers. Brazil has partially decriminalized drug use and in Mexico, carrying small amounts of any drug is no longer a criminal offense.
In Argentina, President Cristina Fernandez is expected to soon send a drug reform bill to Congress that proposes sending users to treatment instead of jail, following on a Supreme Court ruling that made it illegal to prosecute drug consumers.
President Barack Obama’s administration was silent last year when Mexico and Argentina moved toward decriminalization.
“The U.S. is retreating from imposing a model,” said John Walsh, head of drug policy for the Washington Office on Latin America think tank. “The White House… is going to be taking a more measured approach to talking about drug policy.”