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News Link • Drug War

The drug legalization debate heats up

•, Edgardo Ayala
 Though it is very unlikely that Central America will decriminalize the consumption and sale of illegal drugs, Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina says his proposal to do so will reduce crime tied to the trade in the region.

In a radio interview broadcast on Feb. 11, Pérez Molina said that under his proposal “it would no longer be a crime to transport drugs.”

“All of this must be regulated,” he said. “With the technology and the millions of dollars the United States has given, the problem hasn’t gotten any better.”

Even though the debate is using the terms “decriminalization” and “legalization” interchangeably, some note there is a big difference: to legalize drugs would permit their production, sale and consumption, while decriminalization would mean the state would not prosecute who consume drugs on a small scale.

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