Mexico has taken an important step in becoming a more weed-friendly country. Looking at the effective changes now implemented the word “step” might perhaps be a bit of an overstatement, however in a context like Mexico, this new legislation marks a significant leap forward, paving the way for a more healthy and stable management of its infamous problems with drugs and trafficking.
On Friday, June 19th President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a decree that allows the Secretary of Health to draft and implement regulations and public policies permitting “the medicinal use of pharmacological derivatives of Cannabis sativa, indica and Americana or marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol”. Moreover, it establishes research centers to analyze the psychoactive effects of the drug, in order to possibly advise on some future policies.
The sale of medical cannabis
In practice, the decree grants the sale of marijuana with a THC content of less than 1%, but of an undefined amount of CBD, thereby classifying the drug as “therapeutic”. The measure received wide political support, passing in the Senate and Lower House of Congress by 374-7. “I welcome the adoption of the therapeutic use of cannabis in Mexico” Dr. José Narro Robles, the Secretary of Health declared.
Although in the past the Peña Nieto strongly positioned himself against the legalization of marijuana, it seems that recently opinion has shifted. In April 2016, at the United Nations General Assembly Special Sessions, he stated: “so far, the solutions [to control drugs and crime] implemented by the international community have been frankly insufficient, we must move beyond prohibition to effective prevention.”
A long process
Definitely a step in the right direction. Especially if we see it in the context of all the precedents created in the Mexican courts, such as when in 2015, a judge granted four activists the right to grow their own weed for personal use; or the story of the severely epileptic 8 year old, whose parents were granted the permission to import cannabis oil to successfully relieve her symptoms. Another proposal being discussed by the government sees the possibility of decriminalizing possession, up to 28 gram.
But not everybody is ready to get high
But one of the world’s biggest producers of this plant, which since decades has been ravaged by the corrupted policies of a failed War on Drugs and the brutal violence of drug cartels, faces many obstacles on the path to reasonable regulation and widespread acceptance. These obstacles mainly come from a very conservative and influential Catholic church, which stated: “Recreational marijuana is a placebo to ease the pain of the social destruction in which we irremediably wallow.” Pretty heavy words...
However, the progressive turn in favour of decriminalisation that most countries of the Americas have taken, is laying the ground for Mexico to re-examine this issue on the base of more factual and open approach. As Luis Raúl González Pérez, the mediator for Mexico’s National Commission on Human Rights recently said: “Perhaps the time has come to honestly and seriously discuss the relevance of changing from a closed and reactive model to one based on protecting the right to health”. We couldn’t agree more.
Greece also legalizes medical cannabis
And in other news, Greece has decided to also legalize medicinal cannabis. This wave can't be stopped!