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Mexican Congress Debates Legalizing Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on April 13, 2009 at 16:37:25 PT
By E. Eduardo Castillo
Source: Associated Press
Mexico City -- Mexico's Congress opened a three-day debate Monday on the merits of legalizing marijuana for personal use, a policy backed by three former Latin American presidents who warned that a crackdown on drug cartels is not working.Although President Felipe Calderon has opposed the idea, the unprecedented forum shows legalizing marijuana is gaining support in Mexico amid brutal drug violence.
Such a measure would be sure to strain relations with the United States at a time when the two countries are stepping up cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking. The congressional debate  open to academics, experts and government officials  ends a day before President Barack Obama arrives in Mexico for talks on the drug war.Proponents had a boost in February when three former presidents  Cesar Gaviria of Colombia, Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico and Fernando Cardoso of Brazil  urged Latin American countries to consider legalizing the drug to undermine a major source of income for cartels.The congressional discussion takes on a subject "that had been taboo" in our country, said opposition lawmaker Javier Gonzalez, adding that his Democratic Revolution Party supports legalizing personal marijuana consumption."What we don't want is to criminalize youths for consuming or possessing marijuana," he said.Calderon, whose six-year terms ends in 2012, has proposed legislation that would offer users treatment instead of jail time but stop short of legalizing or decriminalizing possession.In 2006, Mexico backed off a law that would have abolished prison sentences for drug possession in small amounts after the U.S. protested."It's clear that a totally prohibitive policy has not been a solution for all ills," said Interior Department official Blanca Heredia. "At the same time, it's illusory to imagine that complete legalization of marijuana would be a panacea."Heredia urged lawmakers to keep in mind that drug use is rising in Mexico. She said the number of people who have tried drugs rose from 3.5 million in 2002 to 4.5 million in 2008, while the number of addicts rose from 307,000 to an estimated 465,000.Mexico's drug violence has surged to unprecedented levels since Calderon launched a military-led offensive against powerful trafficking cartels in 2006. Since then, more than 10,560 people have been killed, mostly in violence between rival gangs.Lawmakers are not discussing a specific proposal, and the debate is not expected to result in concrete action. Lawmakers have said they want to hear various viewpoints before they begin considering proposed bills for legalizing marijuana.Source: Associated Press (Wire)Author: E. Eduardo CastilloPublished:  April 13, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Associated PressCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml
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Comment #17 posted by The GCW on April 16, 2009 at 22:16:17 PT
rchandar & ezrydn,
I have a different viewpoint(s) that may help.Realize there are 2 different kinds of Christian. Obedient Christians and disobedient Christians.What it is to be obedient is defined by The Christ Himself.LOVE ONE ANOTHER. -see John 14-16, in red letters.The label, "Right Wing Christian" means nothing. Most of them are disobedient Christians. Most people who identify themselves as right wing Christian support caging humans for using what God says He created and indicates is good on literally the very 1st page of the Bible (ezyrdn, what You quoted is the v3ery 1st page!!! and there's more in 29 & 30)A person can not love one another and cage or support or enable caging humans for using cannabis (kaneh bosm) at the same time.PLUSThere's a reason to love one another other than it's just plain right. When We love one another, We may receive the "spirit of truth" -see John 14-16 and 1 John too.The spirit of truth, teaches Us all things. But it is not available to those who do not love one another.When people do not love one another they unable to receive that promised spirit of truth and so they are blinded. Or as the Bible indicates, they have the "spirit of error"It is a useful tool that also enables obedient Christians to know who is an obedient Christian and who is a disobedient Christian. It's a blessing.The way the spirit of truth works is as a communication system, designed by God, that is Christ God Our Father, who is also The Ecologician. Those who have the spirit of truth receive communications on the tip of the mind that come as planned by God and taught to Us by the Christ.We have been warned and told of cannabis prohibition Biblically in Malachi 1:6-14 which is subtitled "SIN OF THE PRIESTs." Cannabis prohibition, Biblically is labeled "SIN OF THE PRIESTS.That's because it is in large part due to "priests" that Christian, support and enable cannabis prohibition.An average independent person who truely wants to please God will not take part in caging humans for using cannabis.But a person who wants to be a Christian and allows the influence of many cult christian religions led by disobedient priests, will persecute cannabis users to the full extent of the mans laws.So when a "Christian" supports and enable caging humans for using cannabis, that is akin to sumbling sarting on the very 1st page of the Bible. It's the original living sin.If the devil were to wish to make the most people separate from God as soon as possible, that's where the devil would start. And that's what We have today. Most regular church going "Christians" are separated from God starting on the very 1st page.By the time most Christians get to page 3, where the teachings of killing start to take place, the average "Chrisitan is already lost. WAY LOST.The designed way to override what I'm saying and receive the truth Your self is to pray, and ask God, Christ God Our Father, to forgive You for Your sins; so He will face You...Ask God, The Ecologician to help You know the truth about cannabis, as He wishes for You to know it, and to show You so clearly that You will be able to help other people know it clearly; so clearly that they will be able to help other's too. He will through the spirit of truth deliver. One of the keys, I believe is to indicate that You will help other's receive, and then deliver and do that good deed of helping other's receive it.ezyrdn,I hope You already are familiar with these concepts. If not, I hope this helps.I also hope You may help direct Me and Us to more insight from The Ecologician if You can and in the future as it comes to Your attention.And a word to all.Don't let the actions of disobedient Christians influence Your decission to accept spiritual realities, including the teachings of The Christ.Allow Christ to show You the obedient way and to protect You from the disobedient way including disobedient Christians and clergy.Christ is My main Man. The Dude sorts it out.There is so much more; go, He will show You.*This site has more info also: The Green Collar Worker / at the THC Ministry in Amsterdam http://www.thc-ministry.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=674The Green Collar Worker
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Comment #16 posted by John Tyler on April 15, 2009 at 20:52:12 PT
In a nutshell
God made man. Satan made religion.
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Comment #15 posted by rchandar on April 15, 2009 at 19:20:29 PT:
ezyrdn
Well--I think a Religious Right person would listen to your quote of Genesis 1:1, and sneer, and say "I don't give a s#$t."There are billboards in every major city--a hysterical yet impassive effort to rewrite the Bible to safen it and co-opt it for their own earthly rule. Like one in Tampa: "About that plant I made--God." Or, in Atlanta: "Which section are you going to be in, in heaven--smoking or non?" It doesn't matter. If you read the Bible as the Word of God, then humans are perfectly excused from honoring it in their rule of the earth. I'm explaining to you that it doesn't even affect their thinking--the scriptures are interpreted by humans. They will neither be upset nor consternated by the proliferation of religious endorsements of MJ--in their minds, pot is bad because it's illegal, and it's illegal because its bad. There's another argument--we live in the 20th century. God created the world about 40 centuries ago. The classic religious philosophy is this--man should not enjoy pleasure, he has to earn it with work. Alcohol is alright because you are punished with the hangover. Then there is the other, surreptitious argument--Harry Anslinger's argument--you may become "introspective" and not want to fight a war. Thought in our society is illegal, it's bad, it's forbidden. Anyone who thinks, uses his brain, for some non-practical or non-commercial means is "an idiot," "a fag," or "a junkie." You couldn't possibly be reflective or introspective--what's the matter with you? Join the crowd, and produce for society. You're supposed to make money and continually re-establish the values of "our" society. Something else to trouble your belief--Genesis 1:1 is before the fall of Adam. Man hasn't been tempted yet, and fallen out of God's love for having given him creation. Therefore, God's actions, his judgment, are all interpretive and beyond the scriptures, just as is true in Islam. We Hindus are sometimes amazed at the mess you monotheists have created.--rchandar
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Comment #14 posted by ezrydn on April 15, 2009 at 15:18:56 PT:
Who's Right? Christians and Prohibs OR God?
Many times, the "right" forgets to read the whole story. So, I present a question. Who is right? We've already heard the words and statements of the Right Wing Christian forces and the Prohib forces. Now, listen to the Word of God:Genesis 1:11,12: (KJV) And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was it itself, after his kind: and God was that it was good.So, who's word do we believe? Which entity has reason to lie?You can hear the hisssp of the Snake saying "You don't really believe that, do you. It's not really good." There is not one instance in biblical history where Satan created anything.The Christian Right's Bible must also say, "If your brother stumbles or doesn't march in beat to your wishes, throw his ass in prison." I doubt Hispanic Catholics have ever read that passage. Since I live amongst them, questions have always pulled a surprised, blank response. Hopefully, there are Deputados and Senatores who understand Genesis and human nature and will finally figure this man-made fiasco out.Please, President Calderon, don't shirk your duty to your citizens over the hand-wringing of others. Their people aren't being murdered like your's are. And, after all, it's the US's dirty little war. You and the Mexican Congresso have the ability and opportunity to become the lead nation in global reform. Will you grab it? Or, will you, like your predacessor, Fox, simply "bow." Take a cue from Daniel in the Bible. He responded to a threat with "I may burn but I will not bow." And you, President Calderon? Which will you do? Which will the Congresso grasp? Is the Federal "slop trough" really that tasty?
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on April 14, 2009 at 07:23:01 PT
rchandar 
The only thing for me to believe in is Obama ramping down the drug war in the states. Mexico is another country that has to deal with it's issues like we need to deal with our issues. Canada must do the same thing.
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Comment #12 posted by rchandar on April 14, 2009 at 07:12:18 PT:
Calderon...
I'm going to call bulls #t on this one. Here's why:First off, it's going to die in Congress because the USG doesn't support it. Secretary of State Clinton made a convincing case that trafficking is going to cause big problems for US-Mexico relations, and for general security. Notice that Obama and Clinton haven't come out against building the Border Wall, so it's clear they don't want to make any waves there with "new" moves. The article lists half a million drug users, and Calderon favoring "treatment.""Treatment"? As in, rehabilitation? Mexico has no medical infrastructure to "cure" all these people. And lets add to that number the couriers who are caught and brought to trial. Let's make that "half a million" about 1.4 million. Let's add wives and kids who can't earn a living because the husband's in court: 2.9 million. This isn't a possibility, it's a pipe dream. Let's be clear about something: decisions about Mexico's drug policy, at any level, are DETERMINED by THE CONSEQUENCES OF MEXICAN TRAFFICKING INTO THE US. When push comes to shove, I can assure you that the Mexican gov could care a F#$%K less about its "addicts." What needs to happen has NEVER happened: For the US Goverment to recognize that a use/addiction, should we use those terms, problem exists IN MEXICO. President Obama may favor scaling down the Drug War in OUR country, but that's where it stops. He has not so far wavered from other Presidents when pursuing the Drug War in other countries. That just hasn't happened.--rchandar
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Comment #11 posted by itsonlyaplant on April 14, 2009 at 03:02:41 PT
Sorry forgot link
Sorry link is below.
http://blog.thehill.com/2009/04/08/americas-new-marijuana-zeitgeist/
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Comment #10 posted by itsonlyaplant on April 14, 2009 at 03:01:03 PT
interesting observation
I was reading NORML's blog today and read the one from 04/08 and though it had an AWFUL lot of comments. So I decided to look   the hill blog site to see what other issues were getting alot of attention on the so-called congress blog. Interestingly enough I only found that blogs concerning cannabis consistantly get huge numbers of reader comments. of all the issues I saw (and admitedly I only ran through a few) our issue was the most commented on. Strange that such a "fringe" issue gets so many comments while other "REAL" issues get maybe one or two comments. Even the posts regarding the holiest of holy right wing trinity (the second amendment, abortion, and gay marriage) didn't get any comments from readers. I'm wondering if politicians really read this site or if they are really just as stupid as some have hinted at in the past regarding the will of the people. Of course we all know about that online audience and what they think *wink wink* *chuckle chuckle*. Check it out for yourself. Just an observation.
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Comment #9 posted by gloovins on April 14, 2009 at 02:57:31 PT
my take
I think this prez is a fake too. He scoffs our issue while he knows he at more than one point in his life smoked it. Now it's a fringe issue...something to be arrogant about. I really do hope he doesn't continue the raids and keeps his promises but I waiting on that. He could be real responsible, progressive and save this economy if he just embraced legalization. 
Mexico could stop a lot of this violence going on in their country now too by legalizing cannabis full blown -- you can grow all you want. Sure the US will be pissed but Mexicans should just say we've had enough of this prohibition bs and we are soverign & we are going to try something different. Canada could do the same too I believe.
Hope all are well.
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Comment #8 posted by runruff on April 13, 2009 at 22:17:43 PT
Strange is truthier than fiction!
We have watched Uncle Sam bribe countries all over the world to stay in line with US drug policy. They did it with the states also. We know the game only too well. Here are billions of the US tax payers money, they say. Build roads, schools, line your pockets, whatever? Just play 'follow the leader' on US drug policy and the money will keep coming!Guess what? We're broke! No bribe money left!Now states and countries are going their own way since there are no rewards for stupidity being handed out anymore, people are doing what they know is the common sense thing!btw, Calderon was pushed onto the Mexican people by Bush operatives who rigged the election. This prez, like Bush, is a counterfeit, installed specifically to oppose any relaxing of Mexican Drug policy and to keep in line with the US!I know everything I say here is true because I made it up!
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Comment #7 posted by fight_4_freedom on April 13, 2009 at 21:38:14 PT
And they have no time to wait
Something drastic has to be done immediately. And the
legalization of cannabis is definitely part of the answer to the drug war problem.It's great to hear them talking about it with complete seriousness. 
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Comment #6 posted by John Tyler on April 13, 2009 at 20:59:28 PT
time has come today
Legalization is the only answer and there are no two ways about it.
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Comment #5 posted by George Servantes on April 13, 2009 at 18:54:57 PT
They would already legalize it
If US government didn't put their nose all over the world and tried to tell others how to live.
I hope this time they do something about it cause a lot of people died and more will die if they don't stop their war against God and herbs he creates for us.
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Comment #4 posted by E_Johnson on April 13, 2009 at 18:10:44 PT
A shout out the James Osborne at Fox!!
Maybe you conservatives ought to rethink your positions on the Cold War. They didn't have potheads in the Soviet Union, after all. You're unhappy with the fact that marijuana activists have the right to free speech. The Communists would support you 100% on that. The KGB knew how to deal with dissident trolls.
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Comment #3 posted by HempWorld on April 13, 2009 at 18:04:15 PT
Go Mexico! 
Legalize It!
LegaliseIt.com
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Comment #2 posted by Vincent on April 13, 2009 at 17:58:43 PT:
Legalization in Mexico
Mexican President Felipe Calderone is such a typical knuckleheaded prohibitionist in the mold of George "dubya" Bush. The Mexican government was talking about legalization until the election. Of course a Socialist like myself was praying that the Socialist candidate, Ollanta, would win. He would have pushed for legalization of herb. Not only that, but he would have created more jobs and that would've slowed down the rate of emigration to the United States of undocumented aliens. The logic of this escapes that racist jerk from Colorado, Tancredo, who was happy that Ollanta lost. Then, as we know, Calderone won, and escalated his country's drug war. And the rate of undocumented immigrants coming here also escalated. Calderone + Tancredo = hypocrisy
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on April 13, 2009 at 17:44:04 PT:
From another article, something important
Mexico begins legal debate on cannabis legalization :http://tinyurl.com/csoz2h"The debate starts two months before legislative elections and three days ahead of a visit to Mexico by U.S. President Barack Obama, in which Mexico's drug cartels are likely to be top of the agenda." (Emphasis mine - k.)This is no accident. This time, it's a neighboring foreign government that's being eviscerated by the DrugWar and has had enough. This time, there won't be any tolerance for making light of the subject. This time the 'titter factor' had better take a back seat to serious deliberation.This time it's serious. Deadly serious. 
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