Drugs: the problem is more than just the substances, it's the prohibition itself

Maria Lucia Karam, a retired Brazilian judge, argues that drugs should be legalised - but regulated

It made big news last week when the Mexican president, Felipe Calderón, called for a reasoned debate about the failure of drug prohibition. In doing so, he joined his already outspoken predecessors Vicente Fox and Ernesto Zedillo, as well as other former Latin American presidents like César Gaviria of Colombia and Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil. Latin American policymakers have learned that drug prohibition, more than the drugs themselves, is a problem. Prohibition of desire simply cannot work.