Venezuela Decriminalizes Drug Possession

Via Al Giordano’s BigLeftOutside:

The latest: a reform of the penal code that, while increasing penalties for drug traffickers like every other country, has just decriminalized possession. According to the oligarch’s daily El Universal, which leads its report in a panic over the reform’s simultaneous legalization of abortion and euthanasia, here’s what the new law does for drug users:

“As personal dose for consumption, the (allowable) quantity of the drug substance is extended to that which is necessary for average individual consumption for no more than five days; and as a provisional dose, the quantity of the substance that is employed for average individual consumption (according to forensics experts) for no more than ten days.”
In sum, the drug addict or user no longer faces prison or penalty in Venezuela if he possesses small amounts of his drug of choice (specifically mentioned by the law are marijuana, hashish, cocaine and its derivatives, opium and its derivatives, and synthetic drugs).

Giordano also notes:

Venezuela’s action, because of the size and influence of the country and its economy, and the context of its role in the current American drama, now provides cover for Brazil, Argentina, and the rest of the continent to do the same.

Be sure to watch for the re-birth of the fabulous Narco News, which will resume publishing shortly.
Note that Venezuela has not been particularly thrilled with the U.S. drug war or our Czar.
Also be sure to check out Last One Speaks for excellent coverage on this and other drug war issues (and a belated birthday wish to Libby, one week late).
Update:According to Drug War Chronicle, this reform is not yet finalized.

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