The legalization of marijuana has been one of the biggest topics this year here in the U.S. Now other countries are pushing for it as well. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Mexico yesterday and later will travel to Honduras in the midst of rapidly-escalating demands by Latin American presidents that legalization be included among the options for reducing drug-related violence, crime and mayhem.
The Associated Press published a story over the weekend about the transformation happening in Latin America. “Presidents of Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia and Mexico, all grappling with the extremely violent fallout of a failing drug war, have said in recent weeks they’d like to open up the discussion of legalizing drugs,” the article stated.
Two weeks ago, Guatemala’s president Otto Perez Molina, a right-wing conservative and former army general, stunned observers when he declared that the U.S. inability to cut illegal drug consumption leaves his country with no option but to consider legalizing the use and transport of drugs. He vowed to galvanize regional support.
Just to prove how popular the this topic is becoming, take a look at the Costco Connection, a lifestyle magazine that is distributed to eight million Costco members and read by close to 20 million people. The March issue asks the question “Should Marijuana Be Legal?” with the Drug Policy Alliance’s executive director Ethan Nadelmann arguing yes and Robert DuPont, founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse arguing against.
One group that is not participating in the debate is our “leaders” in Washington. While presidents of Latin America are calling for an open debate and more than 50 percent of Americans saying they support legalizing marijuana, you hear a deafening silence from Washington.