The New York Times reported last week that the Mexican Supreme Court has ” opened the door to legalizing marijuana “…., delivering a pointed challenge to the nation’s strict substance abuse laws and adding its weight to the growing debate in Latin America over the costs and consequences of the war against drugs.
One of the 4 plaintiffs was Hogan Lovells partner Juan Francisco Torres Landa
See American Lawyer report (paywall) at http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=1202741760541/Drug-War-Led-Hogan-Lovells-Partner-to-Adopt-ProPot-Stance?slreturn=20151009021631
Here’s the introduction to the NY Times piece
The vote by the court’s criminal chamber declared that individuals should have the right to grow and distribute marijuana for their personal use. While the ruling does not strike down current drug laws, it lays the groundwork for a wave of legal actions that could ultimately rewrite them, proponents of legalization say.
The decision reflects a changing dynamic in Mexico, where for decades the American-backed antidrug campaign has produced much upheaval but few lasting victories. Today, the flow of drugs to the United States continues, along with the political corruption it fuels in Mexico. The country, dispirited by the ceaseless campaign against traffickers, remains engulfed in violence.
The marijuana case has ignited a debate about the effectiveness of imprisoning drug users in a country with some of the most conservative drug laws in Latin America. But across the region, a growing number of voices are questioning Washington’s strategy in thedrug war. With little to show for tough-on-crime policies, the balance appears to be slowly shifting toward other approaches.
Uruguay enacted a law in 2013 to legalize marijuana, though the creation of a legal marijuana industry in the small country has unfolded slowly. Chile gathered its first harvest of medical marijuana this year. In Brazil, the Supreme Court recently debated the decriminalization of marijuana, cocaine and other drugs. And Bolivia allows traditional uses of coca, the plant used to make cocaine.
Many leaders in Latin America have called for a shift in policy, including President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia. In May, his government ordered a halt to the aerial spraying of illegal coca fields, rejecting a major tool in the American-backed antidrug campaign because of concerns that the herbicide spray causes cancer.