Marijuana Legalization in US States Could Encourage Central America

Ballot initiatives in Colorado and Washington state legalized marijuana, while Massachusetts further decriminalized it, in decisions that could open the door for countries in Central America to defy the Obama administration and push through their own legalization measures.

Numerous political leaders in Central America have voiced support for legalization as a way to cut down on drug war violence, undermine the cartels, and preclude US meddling in the region. But the powers that be in Washington have vehemently battered this down.

“Politically and symbolically, this is really powerful. My guess is that this will accelerate some countries’ efforts to have a legal marijuana regime,” Alejandro Hope, a former ranking official in Mexico’s civilian intelligence service told McClatchy news.

“These important modifications change somewhat the rules of the game in the relationship with the United States,” said Luis Videgaray, head of incoming Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s transition team. “I think that we have to carry out a review of our joint policies in regards to drug trafficking and security in general.”

Uruguay has been moving forward on a proposal to legalize marijuana, albeit under a government monopoly. “Chile also has a bill before its Congress. I’m guessing that Argentina may also follow suit. This will go from south to north,” Hope said.

The drug war justifies all kinds of aggressive US foreign policies in the region, supporting repressive governments and para-militaries, while allowing the prohibitionist policies to deepen the black market in drugs and embolden violent drug gangs.

Last 5 posts by John Glaser

Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.

  • john

    Hurray! Maybe I will survive to see it legalized here. I got stoned when I was fifteen and loved it. I am now sixty-four. There are many of us old stoners running around as well as the newest converts. It stops me from wanting to go to bars. I used to get into many uneviable situations when younger and prone to much drinking. It will drop vechular deaths a great deal not to mention rape and other forms of violence.

    • Anna

      Were you high when you wrote this nonsense?

      Only idiots do drugs

      • jagsfanugh

        I agree but Marijuana isn't a drug. It does contain a drug TCH. It's medical uses are proven to help some with various problems. Comparing cocaine, meth, acid, lsd to marijuana is a joke and you would only do that if from 1923 and ignorant.

  • mojo

    Legalizing it or not, those who want to smoke a joint or two they have done it for hundred of years, is like homosexual, this kind of love is been there for hundred of years, but all of the sudden Bill Clinton of America thought is a good amount of voting crowed why not politicalize it….., sooner or later they will tax the crowed or for that matter the joint venture of cosmos, after all if they can vote then they can pay tax too.., and if the price is wright then some senators, especially democrats want to "join in" and start a factory or two… , don't you think.

  • Anna

    Any fool who thinks that drug legalization is going to reduce violence is in for a big surprise. You are going to create a society where people are openly stoned on the streets, unable to react in situations, getting into stoner car accidents..:As for the drug war, you are simply going to legalize the war, so to speak, the turf wars will simply become market wars that will increasing pushing the junk on the innocent to keep the money coming in where the market value (when illegal) goes down

    • jagsfanugh

      Are you kidding? Alcohol is legal in most places. Sure there are problems but you are wrong to think that pot being legal will do that. I doubt not more will smoke it than currently do. I don't smoke it but i am all for it being legal and doesn't mean i am going to start if legal.

  • pendulum

    US spent the 80's trying to force central america to grow products for the US market, now even anna can partake with no guilt.

  • Mike Ehling

    Well, that settles it. The voters of Colorado and Washington are guilty of material aid in support of terrorism. Bring on the drones!