Sanity down south

Not all the headlines are dire lately: the President of Mexico submitted a proposal to Congress (the Mexican one) to legalize possession of small amounts of a variety of drugs.

I've often been frustrated by how underwhelming the popular support for legalization is in Mexico. The extreme Catholic influence is no doubt responsible for a lot of this, but on the other hand there is an incredible amount of prohibition-related violence that still doesn't prevent widespread drug availability. (The military appears to be somehow complicit in the trade, which might explain something.) Overall, it ought to be clear that prohibition does not work, cannot work, yet somehow drugs remain illegal.

This proposal appears to be a less radical version of one from several years ago which George Bush's influence quashed, but its reoccurrence is cause for optimism. Every important campaign for liberty failed at first.

The proposal emphasizes treating small amounts of possession more like substance abuse, which is legal but discouraged, and less like a criminal offense. In this way it suffers from the same mindset that underlies most official drug policy: certain substances simply cannot be used responsibly; all use is abuse. This is unfortunate, but legalization will gradually erode this political stance, so I won't get too worked up about it.

And yes, we should rejoice if this proposal passes, because it is a gateway to wider decriminalization. What conservatives fear, we should embrace. All drugs should be legal.

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What conservatives fear, we

What conservatives fear, we should embrace.