President Enrique Peña Nieto presented Mexico's position on the drug problem at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS).

The current administration has sought to address the drug phenomenon in a more comprehensive way, through a strategy that avoids creating more violence and in which virtually all the agencies in the Mexican government have taken part.

In the presence of heads of state and government of various countries, representatives of civil society organizations, academics and experts, the president said: 

“It is an undeniable fact: in recent years, the terms of the debate have changed: a consensus has begun to emerge in favor of a meaningful reform of the international drug regime.

A new approach is envisaged that will fight criminals, but rather than criminalizing users, give them opportunities and alternatives.”

”The scheme based essentially on prohibition, the so-called war on drugs, which began in the ‘70s, has failed to prevent global drug production, trafficking and consumption.

“My country forms part of the nations that have paid a high price, an excessive price in terms of tranquility, suffering and human lives; lives of children, youth, women and adults.

Like few others, we know the limitations and painful implications of the eminently  prohibitionist paradigm.”

To reduce the supply of drugs, we have confronted organized crime through better coordination between the authorities, the use of intelligence systems and the dismantling of their operating and financial structures. The government has arrested the main leaders and criminal violence has been limited to specific regions of the country, with a consequent reduction in the incidence of crime.

Technology and information have been used to locate, identify and destroy crops and drug laboratories. To reduce domestic demand, prevention efforts among children and youth and addiction treatment have been strengthened. This scheme has been supplemented through the social prevention of violence and crime in vulnerable communities.

“Under the current paradigm, it is necessary for consumer countries to increase their commitment, both in reducing demand, and in the fight against transnational organized crime.”

In response to this situation, with global responsibility, Mexico proposes ten points.

These include: ensuring availability and better access to controlled substances for medical and scientific purposes, while preventing their improper use and trafficking. 

"This proposal stems from the broad national debate on marijuana use, organized by the Mexican government, with experts, academics and representatives of civil society.”

”Participants in the forums also highlighted the importance of increasing consistency with international standards and the amount of marijuana that can be considered for personal use, in order not to criminalize users.”

Over the next few days, the Mexican government will outline the specific actions to be taken in this direction, in accordance with the public health and human rights principles we have proposed in this Special Session.

“Here, at the highest forum of the international community, I thank the experts, academics and representatives of civil society, who have contributed ideas and a direction for a new consensus.”

“I hope this Special Session will lead to a new international understanding on the matter. I hope this dialogue will enable us to begin creating the vision, tools and new consensuses we need to counter the drug phenomenon in the 21st century.”