URUGUAY: As goes Colorado and Washington, so goes Uruguay? Yes, Uruguay has decided to legalize (and regulate) the use of marijuana. But it’s a bit Ameri-centric to link the change to similar initiatives in two U.S. states. Back in 2009, Argentina’s highest court ruled penalties for possession of pot were unconstitutional. And that same year, Mexico decriminalized possession of small amounts of illicit drugs, both hard and soft.
All over Latin America, it’s fair to say, opposition to drug use is easing. In part, the movement toward decriminalization/legalization has been driven by frustration with the indifference of the big consuming countries (read: United States) to the violence the illicit drug trade has engendered as the cartels search for new routes from Latin American labs to users from Miami to Seattle. But it’s also a product of the growing recognition that the characteristics of the markets for illicit drugs make the trade almost impossible to suppress.