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What's happening in Mexico drug policy reform :: Drogas México
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Ricardo Sala

La iniciativa contra el narcomenudeo, febrero 2007
What's happening in Mexico drug policy reform
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Please check for newer versions of this report in the near future atmartes 13 de febrero 2007I talked with Alberto Banck today. He runs a project which pushes for increasing education for addiction prevention at schools. He is a door-knocker who gets the attention from other activists as well as from legislators at...
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What's happening in Mexico drug policy reform

Ricardo Sala

Martes 13 de febrero de 2007 (13/02/07)




Please check for newer versions of this report in the near future at

martes 13 de febrero 2007

I talked with Alberto Banck today. He runs a project which pushes for increasing education for addiction prevention at schools. He is a door-knocker who gets the attention from other activists as well as from legislators at the lower chamber. Mr Banck is indignated because he has found no access to the thread of legislative process which is to be presented in the Senate tomorrow Wednesday, 14-february-2007.

We are talking about the same law rejected by Fox last May. The original legislation initiative was presented by Fox himself in late 2003 as an "iniciativa contra el narcomenudeo" --a law reform allowing the collaboration of state and municipal law and law-enforcement structures against small-scale drug traffic. In early 2006 the chambers proposed reforming the initiative in order to decriminalise posession of a list of drugs according to quantities specific to each drug. After celebrating the process that took place in the lower and upper chambers, Presidencia stepped back and stated would return the "initiative against small-scale drug traffic" expecting amendments from the legislators.

At least two news services, El Universal on Monday and Associated Press on Tuesday, published the news that senators plan to present the initiative tomorrow Wednesday at the Cámara de Senadores .

The bad news is, as in the case of last year's process (check out Drogas Mexico's follow-up of the process), the legislators are working without the help of any known civil group. The good news is, at least something is happening regarding drug laws in Mexico...

Mr Banck is pushing for an obligatory program of classes providing education against addictions at primary schools, and for "licenciaturas" at university level which would deliver majors specialized in health education. He is also pushing for "ministerios públicos especializados" or specialized judge offices which count with the expertise to attend cases of users and small-time drug offenders and direct them to the proper health service. He agrees these public structures should involved neighbors and other citizens. Eventually, Mr Banck foresees a citizen council which strongly influences drug policy, perhaps through a reformed Consejo Nacional para las Adicciones.

Another team of activists for a better education regarding drugs, is led by the authors of "De la ficcion a la adiccion". Last year medical doctor Humberto Brocca, anthropologist Sandra Tovar, and Trino who may currently well be the best-known newspaper cartoonist, authored a colorful harm-reduction-focused book called "De la ficcion a la adiccion" ("From fiction to addiction"). Secretaría de Educación Pública is supposedly distributing the best part of an 85,000 edition in the largest national library network.

We suppose the new version of the law against "narcomenudeo" still aims to allow the involvement of state and municipal police in small-time drug dealing. Efforts should also aim to allow more involvement of civil society

We as Convivencia y espacio público join the drug education efforts of the Brocca-Tovar-Trino team and of Mr Banck. The challenge for us Mexicans is to get citizenship more involved in a true regularization of drug traffic, based more on prevention than the current, law-enforcement-focused regime.

We hope future legislation processes regarding drug policy are more openly discussed with organized civil society.




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