President Molina of Guatemala urges his peers in Central America to legalize drugs


Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

Guatemala’s president made a formal pitch to his fellow Central American leaders over the weekend, urging them them to sign on to a regional security plan that would include legalizing drugs.

President Otto Perez Molina proposed several options for dealing with drug-related violence in Central America, including creating a regional court to try drug trafficking cases, getting economic compensation from the United States for seized drugs and decriminalizing the transport and consumption of drugs.

The leaders did not come to an agreement during Saturday’s meeting in Antigua, Guatemala, but Perez Molina described the summit as a success. “It was as successful as we were hoping, successful in that we got rid of these taboos and myths that before kept the leaders of the region from talking or debating ideas, ideas that for a long time could not be talked about openly,” he said…

Perez Molina said Saturday that the leaders aimed to bring up the issue at the Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia, next month. The proposal could pave the way for a significant policy shift in a region where brutal drug violence is a daily reality…

“This has been an academic debate and it has also been a scientific debate, an issue that has been studied. And bringing it back into political debate, I think, is important,” Perez Molina told CNN en Español last month.

The 61-year-old former military general pledged to rule Guatemala with an iron fist when he ran for office last year. He caught many Guatemalans off guard last month when he said he wanted to legalize drugs.

What I have done is put the issue back on the table,” Perez Molina told CNN en Español shortly after he first floated the idea. “I think it is important for us to have other alternatives. … We have to talk about decriminalization of the production, the transit and, of course, the consumption.”

Some skeptics have suggested…blah, blah, blah de blah, blah!

If you need to know what official backwardness has to say about the proposal, just watch for it on your local fair-and-balanced Republican TV station. Not that the independent-minded network stations will be far behind at covering their buns from any suggestion of support for reality, science, modern human affairs or thoughtful research.

Meanwhile, it’s a positive that this conservative ex-military politico looked around at what exists and what might be better for everyone. And had the nerve to say it in public while in office.

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