By OLIKA DANIEL GODSON, DIE WELT
The issue of the efficacy of imposing conventional punitive measures by member states on drug users has been in contention in the international community for a long time. The efficacy question simply asks if the punitive measures help in any way to achieve the prohibitory objective of criminal jurisprudence. This is due to the fact that addicts go on abusing drugs even after serving their term. The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States is a stakeholder in this debate as a large majority of the drug addicts and drug abuse can be found and occurs in that region of the world. Member States took a different stance on the issue of the appropriate remedy to be adopted by the Criminal System of these countries. The Countries also took different positions on the issue of the criminalization of “soft drugs: like marijuana and the recognition and medicinal benefit of the cocoa leaf.
Chile proposes all forms of criminal remedies. It states that it does not must provide for punitive measures but a rehabilitation program for the usage of drugs. It also recommends that member states implement danger reduction programs and leave behind trafficking of cocoa and hard drugs. They also recommend that state parties carry out effective research into new innovative solutions to the problem. They recognize the disadvantages of abusing drugs, such as the adverse effects it has on the economy and youth of a nation. In line with the recognition of the adverse effects of drug abuse, Chile recommends a comprehensive education of the youth.
Countries like Grenada propose that education is a viable option for preventing and remedying drug abuse. Columbia took a unified position on all forms of criminal remedies for drug abuse.
On the issue of criminalizing soft drugs, Member States were divided on the appropriate strategy to be adopted. The diverse positions countries in the CELAC take on this subject matter is not surprising as there is usually the reluctance to criminalize “soft drugs” due to the medicinal benefits it is famed to have. Mexico moves for the decriminalization of marijuana. Belize also propose that Member States be open minded when marijuana is being discussed since it has its benefits. Intense research is recommended for countries on a country-specific basis before legislative actions are taken in that regard. Ecuador also takes a similar stance as Belize.
The legislative stance of CELAC Member States on the issue of drugs is particularly important as it’s a burning issue in the various countries that are members of the community. Their stance would greatly affect the way drugs are being used and abused in that region of the world.