Latin Americans Ready to Ditch US ‘War on Drugs’

Amid a growing Latin American backlash against the US-sponsored ‘war on drugs’, some South American states are preparing to decriminalize drugs.

Following a landmark report published by the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy earlier in the year, many Latin American states are calling for a departure from the “war” which was first declared by the Nixon administration in the late 1960’s

“The war on drugs has failed. And it’s high time to replace an ineffective strategy with more humane and efficient drug policies,” the February report had said.

The revision of US-sponsored drug policies and out-of-control drug-related corruption and violence has led some Latin American countries, including Argentina and Mexico, to take significant steps towards decriminalizing drugs.

Argentina’s Supreme Court last week ruled it unconstitutional to punish people for using marijuana for personal consumption, arguing that limited resources are better used in the fight against organized drug crime.

It followed Mexico’s decision to legalize possession of small quantities of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and heroin.

Brazil and Ecuador are also considering partial decriminalization as part of a regional swing away from the decades-old policy of crackdowns still favored by Washington, the Guardian reported Monday.

Reform campaigners have long argued that prohibitionist policies based on eradication, interdiction and criminalization of consumption only enrich drug cartels, fuel savage turf wars, lead to corruption in state institutions and fill prisons with addicts.

However, the US has used its influence to keep Latin America and the UN wedded to hard-line drug policies, focused on interdictions and jail sentences for consumers as well as dealers.

According to recent reports by Mexican officials, drug trafficking in the United States generates an annual income of 63 billion dollars.

This is while after over 30 years since the launching of the US-led “war on drugs”, Latin America remains the world’s largest exporter of cocaine and cannabis, and is fast becoming a major supplier of opium and heroin.

During the past year in Mexico alone — an epicenter of drug trafficking — narcotics-related violence has claimed more than 5,000 lives.

– Article from Press TV.