Part One of this series examines how marijuana arrived in the Western Hemisphere, who cultivated it locally, and why. Part Two looks at prohibitionist 20th century marijuana policies in Latin America and the Caribbean and their devastating social effects. Part Three looks at recent pro-marijuana activist efforts around the continent, as well as examples of progressive legislation that have begun to decriminalize the plant.
As a result of the elections this November the legalization of marijuana has increased to four states in the U.S. as well as the nation’s capital. More than 17 million people can now use the drug recreationally, not factoring the 19 other states that have passed medicinal cannabis legislation. Reform advocates saw the election as a win and momentum for the legalization in more states to come.
In 2009, Mexico decriminalized the possession of small quantities of several drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and LSD in an attempt to combat police corruption and to put a greater focus on the more dangerous cartels and traffickers rather than the small-time users.