Archive for August, 2009
Tijuana’s new dance bar Club41 has it’s grand opening today.
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
Located downtown on Avenida Revolución between 1st & 2nd.
Club 41 MySpace Profile
Day after report (Thursday, August 27, 2009):
BMG arrived for the grand opening at about 9:00 p.m. and the doors weren’t open to the public yet due to some technical delay. All of the waiters were standing outside on the sidewalk. Manager and co-owner Jesús “El Puré” Rodriguez, who used to own and manage the former Terrazas 9 lgbt dance bar on 6th was out directing everything amongst the waiters, photographer, and search lights.
About a half hour later the ribbon-cutting ceremony to the stairway that leads up to the second story establishment got under way. By then the place had about 200 patrons, and about another 100 trickled in within the next hour. Except for a 5-minute power outage during the first hour, everything seemed to go smooth the rest of the evening.
The majority of patrons consisted of middle and upper-class twinkadonnas. The rest were mostly middle-age men.
On the corner of 2nd & Revolucion is the gay dance bar Colibri, also know as Camaleon. The owner opened up another gay dance bar right next to it called Freedom, which later closed down. Club41 now occupies that space. It is nicely decorated and upscale. It has a somewhat small stage that also serves as a dance floor when the three hot male strippers that were entertaining from it last night are not using it.
The live dj-choreographed dance music and videos on big flat screen TVs that go along with it consists of mostly techno/house mixes–instrumentals, and English and Spanish vocals.
The club has a full bar. A cubeta (bucket) of 30 bottles of beer costs $180 pesos ($14 dollars U.S.). Those of us who had a grand opening VIP pass got our first beer free.
Like Colibri, the place is probably going to be more of a gathering place for friends and couples rather than a cruise bar.
Effective Friday, August 21, 2009.
MEXICO CITY – Mexico enacted a controversial law Thursday decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs while encouraging free government treatment for drug dependency.
The law sets out maximum “personal use” amounts for drugs, also including LSD and methamphetamine. People detained with those quantities will no longer face criminal prosecution when the law goes into effect Friday.
Anyone caught with drug amounts under the personal-use limit will be encouraged to seek treatment, and for those caught a third time treatment is mandatory — although the law does not specify penalties for noncompliance.
Mexican authorities said the change just recognized the long-standing practice here of not prosecuting people caught with small amounts of drugs that they could reasonably claim were for personal use, while setting rules and limits.
Under previous law, possession of any amount of drugs was punishable by stiff jail sentences, but there was leeway for addicts caught with smaller amounts. In practice, nobody was prosecuted and sentenced to jail for small-time possession, said Bernardo Espino del Castillo, the coordinator of state offices for the attorney general’s office.
“We couldn’t charge somebody who was in possession of a dose of a drug, there was no way … because the person would claim they were an addict,” he added.
“This person obviously couldn’t be charged, not yesterday, not the day before, not a year ago, but the bad thing was that it was left up to the discretion of the detective, and it could open the door to corruption or extortion.”
In the past, police sometimes hauled suspects to police stations and demanded bribes, threatening long jail sentences if people did not pay.
“This is not legalization, this is regulating the issue and giving citizens greater legal certainty … for a practice that was already in place,” Espino del Castillo said.
In 2006, the U.S. government publicly criticized a similar bill. Then President Vicente Fox sent that law — which did not have a mandatory treatment provision — back to Congress for reconsideration.
The maximum amount of marijuana considered to be for “personal use” under the new law is 5 grams — the equivalent of about four joints. The limit is a half gram for cocaine, the equivalent of about 4 “lines.” For other drugs, the limits are 50 milligrams of heroin, 40 milligrams for methamphetamine and 0.015 milligrams for LSD.
The law was approved by Congress before it recessed in late April, and President Felipe Calderon, who is leading a major offensive against drug cartels, waited most of the summer before enacting it.
Calderon’s original proposal would have required first-time detainees to complete treatment or face jail time. But the lower house of Congress, where Calderon’s party was short of a majority, weakened the bill.
Mexico has emphasized the need to differentiate drug addicts and casual users from the violent traffickers whose turf battles have contributed to the deaths of more than 11,000 people during Calderon’s term. In the face of growing domestic drug use, Mexico has increased its focus on prevention and drug treatment.
Sen. Pablo Gomez of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party praised the legislation: “This law achieves the decriminalization of drugs, and in exchange offers government recovery treatment for addicts.”
Previously, possession of any amount of drugs was punishable by stiff jail sentences, with some leeway for those considered addicts and caught with smaller amounts. But in practice, relatively few people were prosecuted and sentenced to jail for small-time possession.
While the United States openly expressed concern about the 2006 law, this time around it has been more circumspect.
Asked about the new law in July, U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske said he would adopt a “wait-and-see attitude.”
“If the sanction becomes completely nonexistent I think that would be a concern, but I actually didn’t read quite that level of de facto (decriminalization) in the law,” said Kerlikowske, who heads the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy.
List of maximum allowable drug quantities approved for personal use:
Opium: (raw, to be smoked): 5 grams
Heroin: 25 milligrams
Marijuana: 5 grams
Cocaine: 500 milligrams
LSD: .015 milligrams
MDA: 200 milligrams
MDMA (Ecstasy): 200 milligrams
Mescaline: 1 gram
Peyote: 1 kilogram
Psilocybin (concentrate, pure, active ingredient): 100 milligrams
Hallucinogenic mushrooms (raw, off the farm): 250 milligrams
Amphetamines: 100 milligrams
Dexamphetamines: 40 milligrams
Phencyclidine (PCP, or Angel Dust): 7 milligrams
Methamphetamines: 200 milligrams
Nalbuphine (synthetic opiate): 10 milligrams