Carlos Tischler | Getty Images News | Getty Images
President Elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a press conference at Palacio Nacional on August 20, 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. Obrador met with President Pena Nieto to discuss the transition between them.
Mexico has drafted plans to decriminalize all currently illegal drugs after admitting that the current “war on drugs” is endangering public safety.
National Development Plan for 2019-2024, released last week.
Under a new approach, drugs would not become legal, but arrests would be replaced by enforcing medical treatments including detoxification programs and attempts to break addictions.
“The only real possibility of reducing the levels of drug consumption is to lift the ban on those that are currently illegal,” Obrador’s policy statement read, “and redirect the resources currently destined to combat their transfer and apply them in programs— massive, but personalized—of reinsertion and detoxification.”
In 2006, Mexican President Felipe Calderon deployed more than 6,500 Mexican soldiers to battle drug traffickers in what is seen as the beginning of the country’s modern “war on drugs.”
A 2018 report from the Congressional Research Service has estimated that since that year, 150,000 people have died because of organized gang killings.
Obrador’s statement has described Mexico’s current prohibitionist strategy as unsustainable and a danger to everyday Mexicans.
“Public safety strategies applied by previous administrations have been catastrophic: far from resolving or mitigating the catastrophe has sharpened it.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has estimated that as much as $29 billion in cash flows across the border to Mexican drug gangs each year.