Will the Summit of the Americas, to be held in Colombia this weekend, call for drug decriminalization? Columnist Julio E. Mayaudon of Venezuela’s El Carabobeno writes that despite all the evidence supporting an orderly decriminalization, an alliance of sorts between the U.S. and more authoritarian states will doom plans for legalization: The U.S. opposes it, preferring to put the burden on producing countries, and countries like Venezuela have leaders with ties to the drug cartels.
“The U.S. aims to deal with the problem by attacking external supply. The so called “war on sources,” which was initiated by President Reagan and continued by Bush, has seen particular application in Latin America.”
“Paradoxically, Venezuela has been the best pupil of this repressive and prohibitionist policy, going after drug consumers and small-time smugglers, drug peddlers and ‘mules.’”
“This repressive approach will be adopted because it is supported by the greatest world power, which pursues policies that on the outside are repressive, but domestically are benign toward its own consumers and traffickers. That is to say nothing of the political and military reasons for such behavior. Secondly, it will be due to the hypocritical support of authoritarian countries, whose governments have compromised political morality with their scandalous ties to drug trafficking. Such will be the outcome of the discussion on drugs during the Summit of the Americas.”
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