1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
  1. chillinwill
    The drug debate in Latin America has started to shift.

    For decades, possession and addiction in the Americas have been treated with a zero tolerance policy. Efforts to slow drug use have largely centered on arresting and punishing users.

    But packed jails, overburdened court systems, and a growing consensus that the war on drugs is failing are transforming the discussion.

    In August, 2009, Argentina's Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to prosecute people for possession of drugs for personal use. One month later, Colombia's high court issued a similar ruling.

    In Peru and Bolivia, there are now small clinics that give cocoa leaves to crack addicts in order to manage and lessen their addiction. Bolivia's President, Evo Morales, has asked the United Nations to eliminate the narcotics label on the coca plant.

    Now, in Costa Rica, high-ranking officials are joining the tolerance dialogue.

    In March, Costa Rica's Chief Prosecutor, Francisco Dall'Anese, proposed offering free drugs to addicts as a way to compete with dealers. Squeezing in between the addict and the supplier to offer a cheap alternative would “break” the finances of drug pushers and “reduce demand,” he told the Spanish–language daily La Nación.

    “Here, what we would do is preempt the business of drug dealing,” he said.

    The reasoning behind the proposal is fairly simple. By stopping the flow of income to drug dealers and eradicating the addict's need to steal in order to buy another fix, crime rates should drop.

    This idea is not revolutionary. Countries in North America and Europe have used harm reduction techniques such as methadone clinics for years to treat heroin addiction.

    These efforts have been regarded as successful in reducing crime and curving addiction by medical journals.

    Dall'Anese's proposal, though, does represent a fundamental shift in Costa Rican drug policy, as providing addicts with free, chemical substitutes would take the drug addiction problem out of the hands of law enforcement and place it at the doorstep of public health officials.

    By Mike McDonald
    April 16, 2010
    Tico Times


To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!