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Mexican court rules to allow recreational cocaine use

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A Mexican judge has granted two people’s requests to be allowed to use cocaine recreationally, the organization behind the cases said Tuesday, calling it a “historic step” — though it must first be reviewed by a higher court.

The rulings, the first of their kind in Mexico, would allow the two petitioners to “possess, transport and use cocaine,” but not to sell it, according to Mexico United Against Crime, an organization devoted to ending the Latin American country’s “war on drugs.”

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The Mexico City court ordered the national health regulator, COFEPRIS, to authorize the petitioners’ cocaine use in personal, recreational doses, the organization said.

However, a COFEPRIS official told AFP the regulator has moved to block the court order, which was delivered in May, arguing that issuing such authorization would be outside its legal remit.

The case must now be reviewed by a panel of judges.

The ruling will only take effect if they side with the original decision, and would only apply to the two people who brought the cases, whose names were not disclosed.

“This case represents another step in the fight to construct alternative drug policies that allow (Mexico) to redirect its security efforts and better address public health,” Mexico United Against Crime said in a statement.

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“We have spent years working for a more secure, just and peaceful Mexico. This case is about insisting on the need to stop criminalizing… drug users and designing better public policies that explore all the available options,” said the group’s director, Lisa Sanchez.

Mexico has been moving slowly away from its strict prohibitionist drug policies in recent years.

The Supreme Court has authorized recreational marijuana use in individual cases, including one brought by the Hollywood actor Diego Luna.

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And leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has repeatedly said the country should evaluate decriminalizing drugs. His party, Morena, has introduced a bill in Congress to legalize recreational marijuana use.

Mexico has been hit by a wave of violence since the government deployed the army to fight the country’s powerful drug cartels in 2006.

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Since then, more than 250,000 people have been murdered, including a record 33,755 last year.


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Trump ignored aides’ advice before first Ukraine call — and it destroyed his impeachment defense: report

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly referred to himself as his own top advisor and a political "genius." But his interactions with Ukraine at the heart of the impeachment inquiry could demonstrate the limitations of such an approach to governing.

Friday's bombshell, behind-closed-door testimony from David Holmes has made White House aides unhappy, but the bad news for the administration did not stop there.

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‘Aides to the president are not happy’ Gordon Sondland held the phone up in restaurant: CNN’s Jim Acosta

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CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported on Friday that White House aides are unhappy with Ambassador Gordon Sondland for holding up a call with Trump in a restaurant for multiple witnesses to listen.

The details were revealed in bombshell closed-door testimony before Congress on Friday.

Acosta noted the administration was trying to downplay the significance of the call.

"But I will tell you, that the aides of the president are not happy that Gordon Sondland apparently held the phone up so other aides could hear what was going on and the words of the source familiar with the conversations inside the White House, the president speaks loudly, Sondland should know that," Acosta reported.

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David Holmes’ opening statement to Congress directly implicated Donald Trump: report

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donald trump on the phone

Congress will hear first-hand testimony of President Donald Trump's involvement in the Ukraine scandal.

"David Holmes, the state department aide who overheard President Donald Trump's conversation with the US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, said that Sondland told Trump that the Ukranian President would do 'anything you ask him to,' and that he confirmed the Ukrainians were going to 'do the investigation,'" CNN reported Friday.

""Sondland told Trump that (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky 'loves your ass,'" Holmes testified. "I then heard President Trump ask, 'So, he's gonna do the investigation?' Ambassador Sondland replied that 'he's gonna do it,' adding that President Zelensky will do 'anything you ask him to.'"

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