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Mexico President to sign drug decriminalization bill

[JURIST] A spokesman for President Vicente Fox [official website, in Spanish] said Tuesday that the Mexican leader will sign a controversial new law legalizing the possession of small portions of such traditionally-illegal drugs as heroin, cocaine and marijuana. The legislation is viewed as a progressive move in the country's war against drugs that will free the legal system to concentrate on larger drug traffickers while standardizing for local police and judges the amounts of narcotics that will and will not be treated as criminal. The bill was approved by the Mexican Senate [official website] last Friday.

The legalization initiative has been opposed by the US government and US lawmakers who regard it as the antithesis of helping the war against drugs. The fear is that the new law will indirectly increase the already high occurrence of personal drug use in the United States. The date for the signing of the law has yet to be determined. Reuters has more. The Independent has additional coverage.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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