Mexico’s New Drug Policy


Addicts almost never see the light; they have to feel the heat. How many of us have tried to reason with addicted love ones? Didn’t go too well did it? Or maybe it did for a short time but more than likely, the broken trust, failed attempts and sheer exhaustion won out. Is this what forced the hand of the Mexican government? Are they the hopeless parent, heartbroken child, or angry spouse?

In a New York Times article, Mark Lacey writes about Mexico’s newly adopted drug policy. In short, addicts are permitted to carry small amounts for personal use, if they are caught; they are referred to treatment. Mexico has been pummeled by the drug war. It is bloody and rages on for the rights to meet the endless, insatiable demand to the north. Of course someone will try to make money from this structure. Who wouldn’t want their business to be unregulated, untaxed, and recession resistant?  

With prisons overflowing, and no end in sight the Mexican government took another road, a road to steer and regulate what is already happening. There are those who say this will increase drug use. I don’t think it will. What I think is that people will be more honest about their use without the fear of incarceration, so it may look like more people are using.

Whatever the policy, people will want to get high. It’s something I think we are stuck with. Some people will always be powerless over feeling something other than their current reality. It may not be what they understand but I think the Mexican government just engaged in a measure of surrender and admission of powerlessness. That’s something all addicts who hope to get better must do and governments are no different.


2 Responses to “Mexico’s New Drug Policy”

  1. i certainly am no expert… just a parent , however for many it seems incarceration is the “bottom” where the addict finally reaches out for treatment.

    • Joe Schrank Says:

      For some the bottom is incarceration, for some the trauma, depression, exposure to violence associated with incarceration make the problem worse. There are no easy answers but we have tried incarceration and threat of incarceration and it just does not seem to address a diagnosable health issue.

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