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Thailand’s cure for meth addiction? A leafy jungle stimulant

BANGKOK — As illicit drugs go, Southeast Asia’s leafy plant 'kratom' is hardly ideal for thrill seekers. Those who chew its sour-tasting leaves catch a rush that nulls pain and jolts the senses like double shots of espresso. After about 20 minutes, the effects have faded. But as America grapples with a kratom scare — Indiana has banned it and lawmakers in other states hope to follow suit — Thailand is moving in the opposite direction. 

The 6 most infamous crimes committed by Mexico's Zetas cartel

Following the arrest of Los Zetas head Trevino Morales, here’s a look at some of the drug cartel's most heinous crimes.

Is Colombia winning the drug war?

BOGOTA — The annual United Nations survey on coca plant production in the Andean region serves as a kind of drug war report card — yet it’s hard to tell whether Colombia is passing or failing.

4 ways to end the drug war

LIMA, Peru — US Secretary of State John Kerry this week has come under pressure to end Washington’s “war on drugs” at the Organization of American States meeting in Guatemala City.

Can Bolivia teach the US how to fight drugs?

LA PAZ — Ever since Evo Morales was elected president in 2006, La Paz and Washington have been at odds over the flow of cocaine across the impoverished Andean country’s borders. However, Bolivia’s go-it-alone approach may be yielding better results than the US-designed strategies adopted by the other two main cocaine-producing nations, Peru and Colombia.

How Colorado and Washington could end Mexico’s drug war

MEXICO CITY, Mexico — Might Americans' growing ability to get stoned without fear of arrest end Mexico's bloody gangster wars? The legalization of recreational marijuana approved by voters Tuesday in Washington and Colorado could sap power from vicious smuggling gangs, and undermine the Mexican government's rationale for pressing on with the drug war.  

Legalize it, mayors say in British Columbia, Canada

Mayors say they’re wasting precious police and municipal resources while giving up a potential revenue source.

Venezuela nabs Colombian kingpin 'Loco' Barrera

CARACAS — The Venezuelan government Wednesday morning lauded its capture of Daniel Barrera, a Colombian drug trafficker known as “El Loco,” in San Cristobal on its side of the dense jungle border with Colombia.

Navy SEALs to target El Chapo: report

According to Danger Room, the Pentagon reportedly plans on sending the SEALs by helicopter after El Chapo, who is supposedly hiding in the mountains of the western Mexican states of Sinaloa and Durango.

Belize could decriminalize pot possession

The Central American country is considering a plan to stop handing jail sentences to those caught with up to 10 grams of marijuana.
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Youngsters smoke marijuana in a pineapple during a march for the legalization of cannabis in Medellin, Colombia. (Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images)

Belize’s government is considering reforms that would ease the Central American country’s cannabis possession laws, claiming its current legislation clutters courts and prisons with marginalized people.

That would be the latest push in a regional rethink on anti-drug laws. From Mexico to Argentina, leaders are debating perceived failures in the US-backed war on drugs and seeking alternative approaches.

Carrying marijuana is a criminal offense in Belize. Anyone caught with less than 60 grams of marijuana faces a fine of up to $26,000 and/or up to three years in jail, according to a government press release. The proposed reform would decriminalize possession of up to 10 grams, but still subject those caught with small amounts to a fine and mandatory drug education, the government said in a press release. Belize stressed that this is not an effort to legalize cannabis. (See the full release below.)

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