Mexico Decriminalizes Small-Scale Drug Possession
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 20, 2009 10:01 PM CDT
Marijuana.   (Wikimedia Commons)
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(Newser) – Mexico has enacted a controversial law decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs while encouraging free government treatment for drug dependency. The law sets out maximum "personal use" amounts for drugs, also including LSD and methamphetamine. People detained with those quantities will no longer face criminal prosecution when the law goes into effect Friday.

Anyone caught with drug amounts under the personal-use limit will be encouraged to seek treatment, and for those caught a third time treatment is mandatory—although the law does not specify penalties for noncompliance. Authorities say the change recognizes Mexico's long-standing practice here of not prosecuting people caught with small amounts of drugs that they could reasonably claim were for personal use, while setting rules and limits.