Some intriguing breaking news about the increasingly open debate amongst Latin American leaders around new approaches to the drug problem (and the drug war problem). From the International Herald Tribune:
Honduran President Manuel Zelaya says drug consumption should be legalized to stop violence related to trafficking.also reported on the AFP Wire:
Zelaya says that "instead of pursuing drug traffickers, societies should invest resources in educating drug addicts and curbing their demand." He proposes establishing mechanisms for legalizing drug use.
Zelaya spoke Monday at a meeting of Latin American and Caribbean anti-drug officials. He did not say whether he would introduce legislation to legalize drugs in Honduras.
Rodolfo Zelaya, head of the Honduran congressional commission of drug trafficking, rejected the president's comments. He told meeting participants he was "confused and stunned by what the Honduran leader said."
President Manuel Zelaya proposed legalizing drug use, which he said would free up Honduras's financial resources and defang international traffickers.
"The trade of arms, drugs and people ... are scourges on the international economy, and we are unable to provide effective responses" because of conventional legal restraints, Zelaya said Monday at the opening of the 18th meeting of regional leaders against drug trafficking.
Drug ministers from 32 Latin American and Caribbean nations are meeting in Tegucigalpa with United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime until October 17.
Drug users should be considered "patients," said Zelaya, stressing that consumers could be treated by doctors and pharmacies, and would benefit from government social programs.
"Rather than continue to kill and capture traffickers, we could invest in resources for education and training," the Honduran leader said.
We will try and get hold of the complete speech and provide more discussion and analysis over the next few days.