What Happened: A committee of lawmakers in the Mexican state of Guerrero approved a draft law to decriminalize the production and sale of opium for pharmaceutical purposes, El Heraldo de Mexico reported Aug. 15. The law will go to a vote in the state's Congress, after which it may be sent to Mexico's federal Congress for approval.
Why It Matters: Such a law could be used fraudulently by criminal groups that supply heroin to the U.S. market, thereby reducing law enforcement against opium plots.
Background: Guerrero is the leading producer of opium in Mexico and virtually all the opium it produces is used to make heroin. The new law is designed to reduce the impact of federal law enforcement on locals, who often bear the brunt of anti-drug laws.