Newsbrief: Garcia Marquez Takes Back His Legalization Comments, Sort Of 5/30/03

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Last week, DRCNet reported on Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez' reiteration of his long-standing position in favor of legalizing drugs during a speech delivered by video remote to an audience at the University of Antioquia in Medellin ( Turns out that's only part of the story. As reported by Narco News' Luis Gomez (, the grand old man of Colombian literature tried to retract his words almost as soon as they hit the wires.

"It is impossible to imagine an end to the violence in Colombia without the elimination of the drug trade, and it is unimaginable to end the drug trade without the legalization of drugs, which become more dear the more they are prohibited," said the author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude" when he addressed the audience in Medellin. (The translation is DRCNet's; it varies slightly from the Narco News translation, but not in any substantive way, and both are in line with the original Spanish-language press accounts and with a written text of Garcia Marquez's statement published under his signature in the Mexico City newspaper La Jornada.)

But, Gomez wrote, according to press agencies, Garcia Marquez soon denied what he had said. "Very much to the contrary of what the journalists attribute to me, I am against the legalization of drugs and the consumption of drugs," the venerable author was quoted as saying. "What I said was that the Colombian drama consists, precisely, in that it is not imaginable that the end of drug trafficking could come without the legalization of consumption."

It may seem like hair-splitting to some, but Garcia Marquez is now apparently contending that he does not want to legalize the drug trade, only drug consumption, and that will cause the trade to wither away -- a position that long-time legalization advocates (like Marquez) usually consider illogical, because trafficking is done by traffickers, not users. For some interesting speculation on Garcia Marquez' turnabout, read Gomez' article.

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Issue #289, 5/30/03 Editorial: For Decency's Sake, No More No-Knock Drug Raids | Canadian Government Introduces Cannabis Decriminalization Bill | Ed Rosenthal to be Sentenced Wednesday -- Could Escape Mandatory Minimum as Pleas for Leniency Roll In, Supporters Prepare to Rally | DRCNet Book Review: "Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use," by Jacob Sullum (Tarcher & Putnam, 24.95 HB) | Democratic Presidential Contender Endorses Medical Marijuana -- Ohio's Kucinich First Out of the Gate | Saying Yes: New Book Offer from DRCNet | Action Alerts: Medical Marijuana, HEA Drug Provision, Global Legalization and Drug Treaty Reform Petition | Newsbrief: NYPD Under Fire in Death of Woman in Botched Drug Raid | Newsbrief: Federal Hepatitis C Control and Prevention Bill Filed | Newsbrief: Mississippi Drug Czar Not One to Let the Law Get in His Way | Newsbrief: The Hash Fields of Morocco | Newsbrief: Dutch Coffee Shops Take Hit in Anti-Tobacco Campaign | Newsbrief: New Zealand to War on Evil Meth | Newsbrief: Garcia Marquez Takes Back His Legalization Comments, Sort Of | Newsbrief: Gambian Narcs Mar Marley Remembrance with Raids | Newsbrief: Japanese Author, Legalization Advocate Gets Suspended Sentence for Marijuana Possession | Reflections Seeking Submissions for Special Issue on Prison | The Reformer's Calendar

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