In a wide-ranging speech Tuesday at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza said the 35 OAS member nations no longer see the drug problem as a public safety matter but rather as a public health issue. Authorities also want alternatives to jailing drug addicts, he said.
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition's branch in Costa Rica, its first in Central America, will focus on educating the public through public speaking and providing a law enforcement perspective to drug policymakers. “We law enforcement have been the tip of the spear for 50 years, and we have failed in our mission to reduce crime, death, disease and drug use," said LEAP co-founder Howard Wooldridge.
"Anti-drug policies in Central America have not had their desired effect,” Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa said. "I can say that after 20 years experience fighting drug trafficking, ... the cases where white collar criminals are caught, those who never touch the drugs, these cases are scarce.”
The argument goes like this: A small country like Costa Rica cannot protect itself from highly armed drug lords without the help of the United States. We need to train police at places like the U.S. Army’s Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly known as the School of the Americas.
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – A total of 22 companies have submitted bids to supply marijuana under a law making Uruguay the first country to legalize production, sale and distribution of the drug, the government said Thursday.
U.S. states that allow medical marijuana have 25 percent fewer prescription drug overdose deaths, a team of researchers reports in a newly released academic paper, suggesting that expanded access to marijuana, often used for its purported pain-alleviating qualities, could have unintended benefits.
BOGOTÁ, Colombia – President Juan Manuel Santos signaled his support Thursday for a bill that would allow the medical use of marijuana in Colombia. The ruling Liberal Party proposed the measure for a vote in the current session of the Colombian Congress, which opened July 20.
The president has previously expressed his desire to see the marijuana -- the most commonly used illegal drug in Costa Rica -- further decriminalized and has expressed frustrations with the war on drugs and its impact on Central America.
Citizen Action Party lawmaker Marvin Atencio wants to make Costa Rica the first country in Central America to legalize medical marijuana and generate millions of dollars for public institutions along the way.
Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.