March 10, 2014
Berni comes out in favour of Uruguay's marijuana legalization model
As the debate over drug-trafficking in Argentina heats up, Security Secretary Sergio Berni has said he supports Uruguay’s decriminalizing model that recently legalized the growing, sale and smoking of marijuana.
In statements to a local radio station, Berni gave his “personal” opinion about the liberalization of drugs saying he “would agree if the whole chain was decriminalized, from production to consumption.”
“Decriminalizing consumption is not effective enough. This is a personal opinion, after a lot of experience and studying different models. The US has the most protected borders and everything gets inside,” the security official considered to quote an at least controversial character to explain his position, the Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar. “He (Escobar) said there were no mathematical chances that police persecution could win drug-trafficking and it is true. It is a cat vs mouse fight,” Berni assured and pointed out he has never done marijuana or cocaine. “If they would have called my attention, I would not have needed the liberalization of marijuana to have tried it,” the secretary insisted as he considered Argentina’s main addiction problems are alcohol and smoking instead.
Berni’s comments come amid a government controversy over drug trade here with Defence Minister Agustín Rossi recently saying that Argentina has turned into a “drug-producing nation.”
The Security Secretary rejected Rossi’s statements and today Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich ratified what he called the “clear” position of the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration about drugs: “The government’s position is clear. The Republic of Argentina is not a drug-producing country,” Capitanich affirmed this morning during his daily brief to the press at the government house.