A group of Latin American political leaders came together on Monday to acknowledge the legalization of marijuana in two US states and implied such moves could inform their own drug policies going forward.
Leaders in Latin America have repeatedly voiced support for legalization and decriminalization 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.
Now, after democratic votes for legalization in Washington and Colorado, there may be an opening. Presidents from Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica said on Monday that trends toward marijuana legalization in the US would make enforcement of prohibitionist policies in Latin America difficult to abide
“The four called for the Organization of American States to study the impact of the Colorado and Washington votes and said the United Nations’ General Assembly should hold a special session on the prohibition of drugs by 2015 at the latest,” according to the Associated Press.
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.