The Mix

Mexico can't get high

with a little help from its friends.
The arrogance with which the United States treats other countries is sometimes just awesome to behold. Witness a State Department official's calling Bolivian president Evo Morales' decree for the military to seize the country's gas fields a "proposal."

The strong-arming that the U.S. drug enforcers pulled on Mexican President Vincente Fox the past few days over the was an act of outright state intervention. To recap, last week the Mexican Congress passed a bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of just about every popular drug out there: marijuana, cocaine, opium, heroin, LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, amphetamines and peyote. All that was needed was for Fox to sign the bill, and his staff promised he would. His spokesman exulted, "This law gives police and prosecutors better legal tools to combat drug crimes that do so much damage to our youth and children."

Enter the U.S. drug police -- days later, we get a stunning reversal: Fox is going to undertake the necessary corrections to make it absolutely clear that in our country the possession of drugs and their consumption are, and will continue to be, a crime. Mexico must deepen the fight against drugs..." blah blah, good old backwards bs. The people are going to have to stick to caveman era drugs like alcohol."

Our tax payer dollars made this idiotic, puritan statement from the U.S. Mexican embassy possible: "We [-- the USA --] urged them to review the legislation to avoid the perception that drug use would be tolerated, and to prevent drug tourism."

The best the New York Times could do was peep, "It is unusual for American officials to try to influence internal Mexican legislation."

If indeed the fix was in so that Mexico could compete with the likes of Amsterdam for "drug tourism" -- if this was what its politicians were after, then we won't see the end of this: drug possession of all kinds will be legal at some point down the road. The Mexican Congress will need a special session to review the proposed law, otherwise those would-be drug tourists out there will have to wait until Septemeber for the politicians to review it again.
Jan Frel is an AlterNet staff writer.
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