U.S. marijuana vote may have snowball effect in Latin America
By Tim Johnson
One expert said that if U.S. states such as Colorado and Washington could permit a system for consumption of marijuana that didn’t cause usage to soar, “it could mark a snowball effect on Latin America.”
MEXICO CITY — Voters in Colorado and Washington state who approved the recreational use of marijuana Tuesday sent a salvo from the ballot box that will ricochet around Latin America, a region that’s faced decades of bloodshed from the U.S.-led war on drugs.
Experts said the moves were likely to give momentum to countries such as Uruguay that are marching toward legalization, to undercut Mexican criminal gangs and to embolden those who demand greater debate about how to combat illegal substances.
“The trend is toward legalization,” said Jorge Castaneda, a former Mexican foreign minister who’s an advocate for decriminalization.
The decision by voters in Colorado and Washington to legalize marijuana for recreational use puts those states — the first to approve outright legalization — at loggerheads not only with the federal government but also with global treaties that label marijuana a controlled substance.
U.S. diplomats in Latin America said Wednesday that President Obama would hold firm against efforts to soften drug laws.
Beckley Foundation In Latin America
The Beckley Foundation has been instrumental in the recent transformation of political thinking in Latin America when it comes to drug prohibition. Having already secured the signatures of several former American and South American Leaders, President Otto Molina became the first acting Statesman to announce his opposition to The War On Drugs during his tenure by signing our Public Letter. Guatemala went on to create history this year when The Beckley Foundation Guatemala Project was launched in the Presidential Palace in July.
The Beckley Foundation will convene an international Board of Experts and to write reports which will i) analyse the impact of the current prohibitionist policies and ii) propose a sophisticated range of alternative policy solutions for Guatemala and the wider region, with a view to reducing violence and corruption and allowing resources to be re-allocated for health, development and education.