Cuba says legalizing marihuana would be a 'historical irresponsibility'

11:13, June 25, 2011      

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Efforts by some political sectors in a number of Western countries to decriminalize marihuana would be a "historical irresponsibility" that could lead to "irreparable harm" in the society, the National Drug Commission of Cuba said on Friday.

Israel Suarez, secretary of the commission, was responding to a question from reporters about the current debate in the U.S. on a bill that seeks to legalize marijuana and what social problems should be considered before deciding on the bill's future.

"The south coast of United States is the leading producer of the super-marihuana," said Suarez, adding that Cuban authorities are concerned over the possibility that a decision of this nature could be taken in a country so geographically close to the Caribbean island nation.

Carmen Borrego, who represents the Ministry of Public Health at the National Drug Commission, said that such a measure would be particularly negative to the most vulnerable social sectors.

"The U.S should worry more about strengthening the health systems in the region before considering that removing certain prohibitions would solve a serious problem, linked not only to health but to violence and crime," said Borrego.

According to the National Drug Commission, which is a government body made up by the justice, health and education ministries, the rate of drug addiction on the island is lower than 1.5 percent. Information about the number of patients being treated for substance abuse problems on Cuba was not available.

The "number of drugs addicts on the island is so low that is not a health problem," said one official at the commission.

Cuban authorities seized 3,023 kilos of drugs in 2010, the bulk of it being marihuana. The figure was 163 kilograms lower than the volume seized in 2009. Cuban police also arrested 22 traffickers on the island last year out of whom 20 were foreigners captured when the tried to smuggle drugs into the country.

Source: Xinhua
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