Jack Healy writes in the NYT:
As the first states to treat small amounts of marijuana like alcohol, Colorado and Washington are poised to become national test cases for drug legalization. As advocates and state officials plan for a new frontier of legalized sales, they are also anxiously awaiting direction from the federal government, which still plans to treat the sale and cultivation of marijuana as federal crimes.
That is probably how marijuana should be legalized in Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia (countries where there is some political will): to apply to marijuana the same legal treatment in place for alcohol.A recent article in the economist says:
Between 40% and 70% of American pot is reckoned to be grown in Mexico. According to a recent study (in Spanish) by the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), a think-tank in Mexico City, the American marijuana business brings in about $2 billion a year to Mexico’s drug traffickers. That makes it almost as important to their business as the cocaine trade, which is worth about $2.4 billion.
In Mexico relatively few people take drugs. But many are murdered as a result of the export business. About 60,000 have been killed by organised crime during the past six years. . .
While in Denver marijuana is legal in some instances and there are menu boards of choices of medical marijuana, in Latin America it is still illegal and many people are still fighting and dying to take it to the US. . .