The year Mexico legalised drugs

Yet, despite being deemed a major success, within six months the legislation was overturned
History Extra (UK)
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

On 5 January 1940, Mexico's left-wing president, Lázaro Cárdenas, signed the new Federal Regulation of Drug Addiction into law. The new legislation was truly revolutionary: it swept away the old punitive edicts on drugs offences, authorised doctors to prescribe narcotics to addicts, established out-patient clinics to help these addicts, and made broader pleas to treat addicts as ill rather than as criminals. The selling and purchasing of small amounts of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine and heroin, were effectively decriminalised. Small-scale drugs offenders were released from prison and the city’s drug addiction clinics. Police officers dramatically reduced arrests for drug crimes, and half a dozen drug dispensaries were established throughout Mexico City. (See also: Archivo Dr. Salazar)