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Oct-27-2008 12:21printcomments

Hell Freezes Over: White House Drug Czar Backs Decriminalization

John Walters Backs a Mexican Proposal Far More Sweeping Than U.S. Measures He Has Opposed.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon
Mexican President Felipe Calderon

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - The Marijuana Policy Project today congratulated White House "drug czar" John Walters for backing a Mexican government proposal that would remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

"I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but John Walters is right," said MPP executive director Rob Kampia. "We heartily second his support for eliminating criminal penalties for marijuana users in Mexico, and look forward to working with him to end such penalties in the U.S. as well."

On October 22nd, The New York Times reported Walters' public support for a drug decriminalization proposal by Mexican President Felipe Calderon, quoting Walters as saying, "I don't think that's legalization." Under Calderon's proposal, individuals caught with small quantities of marijuana would receive no jail sentence or fine and would not receive a criminal record so long as they complete either drug education or, if addicted, drug treatment. Unlike proposals supported by MPP, the Mexican president's proposal would also decriminalize possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

"It's fantastic that John Walters has recognized the massive destruction the drug war has inflicted on Mexico and is now calling for reforms there, but he's a rank hypocrite if he continues opposing similar reforms in the U.S.," Kampia said. "The Mexican proposal is far more sweeping than MPP's proposals to decriminalize marijuana or make marijuana medically available, both of which John Walters and his henchmen rail against."

In a March 19th 2008, press release from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, deputy director Scott Burns called a New Hampshire proposal to impose a $200 fine rather than jail time for a small amount of marijuana "a dangerous first step toward complete drug legalization."


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Vic October 27, 2008 8:57 pm (Pacific time)

We are in Nayarit, Mexico and marijuanna use is widespread and out in the open. Pot costs about $10 US per oz and is cheaper to smoke than cigarettes. The police dont seem to a friend of mine told me, "If you dont cause trouble, you dont get trouble".

Charlie Leonard October 27, 2008 2:16 pm (Pacific time)

Well, if the fight is worse than the cause, just quit!! Anti-drug efforts may be later viewed in history as one more example of the impossibility of legislating personal choices. Maybe this is another case of the Nanny Society overstepping its bounds. Horrible to admit defeat, for look at all the people who depend on illegal drugs for their careers-- police, judges, lawyers, jailers and on and on. Decriminalization will encounter massive resistance, purely cynical.

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