Mayor vetoes resolution asking for debate on legalizing drugs

UPDATE: EL PASO - Mayor John Cook vetoed a unanimous vote by City Council that earlier Tuesday asked the federal governemnt to seriously study the idea of legalizing drugs in response to the violence that has plagued Juárez.

In what is the third veto of his administration, Cook said the council's position "was not consistent with community standards both locally and nationally. I urge council to reconsider supporting the original wording as recommended."

Council voted 8-0 earlier today to approve a resolution that outlined 11 steps the U.S. and Mexican governments needed to take to deal with the violence that has resulted in more than 1,600 homicides in Juárez.

South-West city Rep. Beto O'Rourke added a 12th step, which asked the U.S. government to have "an honest debate on the decriminalization of narcotics."

O'Rourke said on Tuesday that his addition to the resolution was not meant to be an endorsement of drug use, but rather an effort to study every and all efforts that could help curb drug-related violence.

Original story: EL PASO -- The City Council on Tuesday approved a resolution expressing solidarity with Juarez during its current wave of drug-related violence and asking the U.S. Government to seriously begin a debate on the legalization of narcotics.

The resolution, which was approved unanimously, outlines several steps and recommendations for the United States and Mexico to take in order to curb homicides and other acts of violence betweem warring drug lords.

"We know the war on drugs is empowering the drug lords and it is costing us millions of dollars," South-West city Rep. Beto O'Rourke said. "Let's start an honest national debate that would end the prohibition of narcotics."

The resolution was drafted by the city's Border Relations Committee, which included several experts on Mexico and retired custom officials. It also included officials from Juarez.

"Some may say that this is just a resolution ... that it doesn't have any impact," UTEP professor and committee member Kathy Staudt said. "But this is a very progressive resolution that shows there is cooperation between the two countries."

No comments: