Mexico's 'Ley De Narcomenudeo' Drug Policy Reform and the International Drug Control Regime

Harm Reduction Journal, Vol 11, No. 31 (2014)

Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 208-2014

7 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2014

See all articles by Tim Mackey

Tim Mackey

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Anesthesiology

Daniel Werb

University of California, San Diego – School of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health

Leo Beletsky

Northeastern University - School of Law; Northeastern University - Bouvé College of Health Sciences; Division of Infectious Disease and Global Public Health, UCSD School of Medicine

Gudelia Rangel

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jaime Arredondo

University of California, San Diego – School of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health

Steffanie A. Strathdee

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health

Date Written: November 14, 2014

Abstract

It has been over half a century since the landmark Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was adopted, for the first time unifying international drug policy under a single treaty aimed at limiting use, manufacture, trade, possession, and trafficking of opiates, cannabis, and other narcotics. Since then, other international drug policy measures have been adopted, largely emphasizing enforcement-based approaches to reducing drug supply and use. Recently, in response to concerns that the historic focus on criminalization and enforcement has had limited effectiveness, international drug policies have begun to undergo a paradigm shift as countries seek to enact their own reforms to partially depenalize or deregulate personal drug use and possession. This includes Mexico, which in 2009 enacted national drug policy reform partially decriminalizing possession of small quantities of narcotics for personal consumption while also requiring drug treatment for repeat offenders. As countries move forward with their own reform models, critical assessment of their legal compatibility and effectiveness is necessary. In this commentary we conduct a critical assessment of the compatibility of Mexico's reform policy to the international drug policy regime and describe its role in the current evolving drug policy environment. We argue that Mexico's reform is consistent with flexibilities allowed under international drug treaty instruments and related commentaries. We also advocate that drug policy reforms and future governance efforts should be based on empirical evidence, emphasize harm reduction practices, and integrate evidence-based evaluation and implementation of drug reform measures.

Keywords: International Drug Policy, Single Convention, Harm Reduction, Mexico Drug Policy, Drug Policy Reform, UN Office of Drugs and Crime, Global Health

Suggested Citation

Mackey, Tim and Werb, Daniel and Beletsky, Leo and Rangel, Gudelia and Arredondo, Jaime and Strathdee, Steffanie A., Mexico's 'Ley De Narcomenudeo' Drug Policy Reform and the International Drug Control Regime (November 14, 2014). Harm Reduction Journal, Vol 11, No. 31 (2014); Northeastern University School of Law Research Paper No. 208-2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2528306

Tim Mackey (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Department of Anesthesiology ( email )

School of Medicine
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Daniel Werb

University of California, San Diego – School of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Leo Beletsky

Northeastern University - School of Law; Northeastern University - Bouvé College of Health Sciences ( email )

416 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States
617-373-5540 (Phone)

Division of Infectious Disease and Global Public Health, UCSD School of Medicine ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Gudelia Rangel

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jaime Arredondo

University of California, San Diego – School of Medicine, Division of Global Public Health ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0507
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Steffanie A. Strathdee

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health ( email )

La Jolla, CA
United States

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