Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The fight to legalize cannabis in Mexico


“It feels right because it’s for personal use. I don’t have to buy it from organized crime,” he told CNN. “And somehow people no longer see you as a criminal.”

Soon, it may no longer be a crime. In April, Mexico’s Senate hopes to approve a new law to legalize cannabis after two years Supreme Court of India ruled It was unconstitutional to ban the drug.

Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obredor has already indicated his approval of the bill.

The law allows adults up to the age of 18 to smoke marijuana, grow as eight plants for personal use, and carry pots of up to 28 grams. It will also provide licenses to cultivate, research and export cannabis.

Zaragoza said that as soon as this law is made, he will feel safe, “Sometimes I am afraid of the authorities, they can easily arrest me for these plants; this law will make me feel safe at home,” They said.

General health law in Mexico currently allows people to take up to five grams of cannabis, but carrying more may be a reason for prosecution.

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“Prohibition does not reduce addictions Nor organized crime; It’s the opposite, it gets stronger, “Senator Patricia Mercado from the Citizens’ Movement Party told CNN. She plans to vote for the legalization bill.

Last year, Mexico’s Secretary of National Defense destroyed cannabis plants on 2,807 hectares and seized 244,112 kg of goods. But Mercado believes that legalizing medicine instead of fighting can give the country a powerful economic motor.

“We have lost an industry that can be powerful during these times of economic crisis, unemployment; we can generate income and employment, this is important,” she said.

Mexico is the most important foreign source for marijuana in the United States; In 2019, US Customs and Border Protection seized approximately 249,000 kilograms along its southwestern border, according to the 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

However, according to the same report, hemp is grown and produced in the US – where it is already legal in many states – already suppressed Mexican-grown products in the US market.

Legalization among Mexico’s Drug Trade

Many in Mexico hope that legalizing cannabis will remove a source of income from the country’s powerful and violent drug cartels.

But experts say the historically high domestic suicide rate is partially associated with gang violence – Mexico saw 34,515 housewives in 2020 alone – with the legalization of marijuana likely not to decrease.

“It will affect (organized crime) in some ways, but when it comes to crime statistics, it won’t affect it at all,” said Mexico City-based security analyst Eduardo Guerrero. Activities other than cannabis sales.

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He said, “Violence and murders are no longer related to pot-selling. Most of the country’s hitmen who create violence are in other businesses. They are smuggling cocaine and heroin and expelling people, and migrants. Are smuggling. ”

Éter Jaime Ramirez, a Congressman for the National Action Party who voted against the legalization bill, says to CNN, “We are pretty sure that (legalization) will not reduce violence because there is no evidence that it will in any other country Has happened.”

However, legalizing cannabis in Mexico can reduce the dangers that Mexican consumers face when purchasing it. “The real merit goes to the young people who want to buy it; they don’t have to go to hiding places and face aggression or be recruited as dealers,” Guerrero said.

Young people in Mexico are vulnerable to being recruited, robbed, or hurt while buying drugs from dealers. Common selling points are located in dangerous neighborhoods, and anything can happen during the purchase.

“Buying weed from a businessman is dangerous; I haven’t done it for a while, but it was complicated,” Zaragoza said, puffing on his joint as he spoke. “You don’t know who you’ll find. You can be robbed.”

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