Mar 20, 2012

Drug Policy Debate: British Parliament committee supports decriminalization of drugs in Latin America

Milenio: "The British Parliament has sent a letter to the presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Central American countries to show their support for the initiative by Guatemala to begin an international dialogue on the decriminalization of drugs, reported the Guatemalan Embassy in London .

The letter, signed on 19 March by Baroness Molly Meacher, chairman of the committee on drug policy of the British Parliament, encourages participants in the summit of heads of state from Central America to discuss "a challenging problem" for their countries.

That meeting, to be held on March 24 in Antigua (Guatemala), aims to achieve a common position in the region regarding the initiative of Guatemalan President, Otto Perez Molina, to begin an international dialogue on the possible decriminalization of drugs .

After arriving at an agreement, the initiative would then be debated at the Summit of the Americas to be held in Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) April 14 to 15 and attended by 34 heads of state or government, including U.S. President Barack Obama.

Baroness Meacher, who has addressed to the presidents of Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, said "it would be very valuable to not waste this occasion. The initiative offers the opportunity to begin a process of debate." Meacher hopes that recipients agree to include this issue "of global importance" on the agenda of the meeting in Cartagena de Indias.

In addition, the committee offers, in the letter, to involve the world's leading experts in the preparation of policies and other preparatory work.

"Only through dialogue, a serious examination of different policies and a determination to reduce the terrible damage caused by the current law, can progrsss be made," the message said. The Baroness Meacher was speaking on behalf of 75 members of different parties that are part of the drug committee of Parliament." Spanish original

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