On April 2016, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem, Mexico presented ten proposals to encourage a transition to a new international drug control strategy, consistent with the new realities of the phenomenon, based on comprehensive prevention and more balanced, fair and humane approach.
The ten proposals were captured in the final document of the Special Session, entitled “Our joint commitment to address and effectively counter the world drug problem”, which articulated 103 operational recommendations in seven thematic areas.1 This document constitutes the most progressive multilateral consensus on drugs policy and leads to a substantial change in the terms of reference of the international debate.
In order to support the implementation of the Outcome Document at the national level, and enrich the mechanisms for its implementation at the regional and international level with the best practices and lessons learned, the Government of Mexico, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized the series of dialogues “Towards a new international drug strategy: Instrumentation of the recommendations of UNGASS 2016”. Between September 2016 and December 2017 seven dialogues took place, corresponding to each of the seven thematic areas of the UNGASS 2016 Outcome Document.
This exercise of deliberation and call to action counted on the support of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), of the Organization of American States, and brought together 60 presenters from more than 12 countries, international organizations, academic institutions, civil society organizations and government authorities responsible for different areas of implementation of the international drug strategy
As a result of this hefty debate a follow-up matrix drawn up for the implementation of the UNGASS 2016 recomendations. This matrix will be nurtured by different national authorities, in order to present to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the United Nations and to the CICAD-OAS, concrete progress from the Government of Mexico on the implementation of its international commitments, and to set short, medium, and long term objectives for a comprehensive and balanced drug policy.
The record of the the discussions and the initiatives expressed during the series of dialogues endorsed the consolidation of a list of conclusions and recommendations that are presented below, and which will enable to further nourish the discussions of international organizations with a plural vision of paths to follow, measures to be strengthened and windows of opportunity for improvements in drug policy.
As a general finding for the national legislation, it became clear that the recent international consensus and the dynamics of the hemisphere represent an opportunity and a call to amend the General Health Law and the Federal Criminal Code to decriminalize drug use, establish the principle of proportionality of penalties and even to accomplish a regulatory framework for the cannabis market without contravening the international drug control conventions.