All posts by Bernardo Rico

Marijuana’s Short & Long-Term Effects

Anything that is smoked takes between 7 to 10 seconds to reach the brain and is even faster than injecting a substance, which takes 15 to 30 seconds. The effects of smoking marijuana are felt within a few minutes, peak...

/ January 1, 2017

Obama – A New Approach to U.S. Drug Policy? (2009-2017)

The administration of President Barack Obama witnessed the first change in the direction of drug policy since the administrations of Ford and Carter. Sentencing reform was influenced by the need to curtail ballooning prison populations and federal and state budgets,...

/ January 1, 2017

Alternative Development

The softer version of crop eradication is alternative development, which uses financial incentives and training to help marginalized farmers switch to other crops such as coffee, instead of coca or opium poppies. Given its focus on poor rural populations, it...

/ January 1, 2017

Lessons on Drug Access and Acceptability

Beyond measures limiting the access to drugs, including maintaining the current control policy of illegality, the other primary factor curbs drug use is reducing their perceived acceptability. Conversely, greater attitudes of acceptance toward drug use tend to increase consumption. A...

/ January 1, 2017

De facto Legalization?

Ultimately, a country like Guatemala or Honduras could decide to go it alone and not pursue any cartel, whether violent or not. This essentially would imply the de facto legalization of drug trafficking. Countries in the region less affected by...

/ January 1, 2017

Central America’s Case

Today, Guatemala and Honduras have the 2nd and 5th highest homicide rates in the world, but they already placed 7th and 3rd in 2005, two years before the Mexican cartels established their presence. Additionally, their neighbor, El Salvador, has little...

/ January 1, 2017