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Calderon-Backed Decriminalization Bill Passed by Mexican Senate


A drug decriminalization bill endorsed by Mexican President Felipe Calderon and approved this week by the Mexican Senate would allow individuals to possess up to 5 grams of marijuana for personal use, up to 500 mg of cocaine, and small amounts of heroin and other drugs, Reuters reported April 28.

The bill also ends the federal prohibition on drug dealing but still allows states to prosecute smalltime drug dealers.

Backers say that decriminalizing minor drug possession will allow law enforcement to focus on battling Mexico's drug cartels. A similar measure was approved by the Senate in 2006 but vetoed (under pressure by the U.S.) by former President Vincente Fox.

The current bill still must be approved by the Mexican Congress' lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, before going to Calderon. Lawmakers may deliberate on the measure this week.

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