Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Argentina: Buenos Aires Contemplates Decriminalizing Illegal Drug Use

According to The Latin American Tribune, the Argentine government said Monday (September 29) that it is considering two proposals to modify the law to decriminalize the use of illegal drugs along lines suggested by the head of the country’s counter-narcotics agency, SEDRONAR.

“The possibility of decriminalization is related to the analysis of two proposals,” Cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich said during his daily press conference.

He confirmed his support for SEDRONAR director Juan Carlos Molina, who on Sunday (September 28) said that if it were up to him, “he would authorize the consumption of everything.”

“I would set up good (rehabilitation) centers, because that is the only way we have to fight drug trafficking,” Molina said.

“Decriminalization has to do with our brother, who has an addiction problem, both of alcoholism and taking drugs,” Capitanich said, stressing the government’s determination to rehabilitate addicts and bring them back into society.

The official proposal was severely criticized Monday (September 29) by the Rev. José Maria Di Paola, a priest involved in drug-rehab efforts in the slums of Buenos Aires, who said that Argentina is neither the Netherlands nor Uruguay.

COMMENT: In December 2013, the Congress of Uruguay, Argentina’s neighbor, legalized the production and sale of marijuana and created a state agency to regulate the sector.

Argentina’s current legislation punishes drug possession with from one to six years behind bars, a sentence that can be reduced to from one month to two years in jail if the drug is considered to have been for personal use only.

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