Four Latin American leaders declared that votes by two U.S. states to legalize marijuana have important implications for efforts to quash drug smuggling. The Associated Press says it was the first government reaction from a region increasingly frustrated with the U.S.-backed war on drugs. The declaration by the leaders of Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Costa Rica did not say they were weakening their governments' efforts against marijuana smuggling, but it strongly implied the votes in Colorado and Washington would make enforcement of marijuana bans more difficult.
The four called for the Organization of American States to study the impact of the Colorado and Washington votes and said the United Nations' General Assembly should hold a special session on the prohibition of drugs by 2015. Last week, the most influential adviser to Mexico's president-elect, who takes office Dec. 1, questioned how the country will enforce a ban on growing and smuggling a drug that is now legal under some U.S. state laws. The Obama administration may declare the state votes invalid under federal law.