Like Kevin says, “This isn’t a done deal yet, but it’s good news.”
Mexico’s Senate approved a bill on Tuesday decriminalizing possession of small amounts of narcotics for personal use, in order to free resources to fight violent drug cartels.
The bill, proposed by conservative President Felipe Calderon, would make it legal to carry up to 5 grams (0.18 ounces) of marijuana, 500 milligrams (0.018 ounces) of cocaine and tiny quantities of other drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines.
Mexico’s Congress passed a similar proposal in 2006 but the bill was vetoed by Calderon’s predecessor Vicente Fox, under pressure from the United States, which said it would increase drug abuse, but now is worried by the drug-related violence along its border.
Calderon has staked his presidency on curtailing the escalating violence between rival drug gangs as they fight over smuggling routes to the United States, with violence spilling into U.S. cities like Phoenix and Tucson.