Local March 22, 2013 | 11:50 am

Dominican lawmakers join hemisphere’s drug decriminalization trend

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic lawmakers on Friday joined the hemisphere’s trend to decriminalize some narcotics, submitting legislation to amend Drugs and Controlled Substances Law which dates to 1988.

The piece submitted to the lower Chamber by deputies Esther Minyety and Juan José Morales considers recreational use by any person charged with simple possession of less than one gram of cocaine or marijuana. If the drug seized is more than one gram but less than five, those charged will be classified as consumers.

If the amount is five grams, but less than 10, the detainee will be classified as sick but could charged with distribution or sale.

In a press conference in Congress, Minyeti and Morales said the proposed legislation also amends Article 76 of that law, for the National Drug Council to manage 58% of the funds allocated to the NGOs which treat and regenerate addicts.

Similar legislation is now pending debate in Nicaragua, Uruguay and Mexico, also following the trend in some U.S. states.

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