The legalization of marijuana in Mexico and its effects
Cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug for the younger population. Although it is a substance considered illegal, in many countries the possession of a small amount for own consumption or for medicinal purposes is allowed, or consumption in certain clubs and regularized associations.
Some countries have decided to legalize cannabis, while others are in the process of doing so due to different causes. In this article we are going to see one of these cases, specifically the legalization of marijuana in Mexico .
- Related article: "The 4 types of marijuana: cannabis and its characteristics"
Cannabis and marijuana
Cannabis is a substance derived from one of the different varieties of the cannabis plant, the most common and well-known being cannabis sativa.
This substance has a psychoactive effect, producing alterations in the functionality of the nervous system and altering its biochemistry. Specifically belongs to the group of psychodysleptics or disrupters, which have an effect modifying the activity of the brain and may produce perceptual alterations.
The most common form in which cannabis is presented is marijuana, the product that results from chopping the leaves and stems of the plant . It is usually consumed in a smoked form, sprinkled in food or in the form of an infusion.
Cannabis, both in its marijuana form and in other presentations, usually produces a feeling of wellbeing and euphoria initially, and subsequently produces a state of relaxation that is even capable of reducing the level of pain of a person, having an analgesic effect . It also affects the motor and digestive system, facilitating hunger, hindering vomiting and helping to prevent tremors and convulsions.
All these properties have been since ancient times used medicinally for the treatment of numerous ailments , although at present the majority of its consumers use it recreationally. This has caused different countries to react differently to its use in various areas, from allowing its use to sanctioning and prohibiting it.
The situation in Mexico
Mexico's position regarding the use of cannabis and marijuana has traditionally been contrary to its use . Thus, cannabis was a prohibited substance, sanctioning its possession beyond five grams and its application in different areas, including its therapeutic use.
However, recently the country is experiencing a change in that opinion. During the past year, Mexican President Enrique Peña proposed to the Senate a Reform Initiative of the General Law of Health in which he proposed the acceptance of the therapeutic use of marijuana.
This modification was proposed from the perspective of the need to move from a prohibition and criminalization, which ultimately leaves the use of cannabis in the hands of organized crime and a market that flourishes without control, to a situation that seeks to regularize the situation of said substance and can serve as a prevention and control mechanism.
At least in the beginning, It is proposed that legal access be carried out from authorized pharmacies that they would have permission to import medicines made based on it.
Reasons given for legalization
The proposed initiative was based and was born from the reflection on multiple aspects, some of which we relate below.
Medical benefits of medicines based on this substance
The therapeutic use of marijuana has been shown to be highly effective in reducing the symptoms of different disorders.
In some cases in which the judges have authorized their use, they have allowed the reduction of seizures in epileptic subjects, severe tremors in Parkinson's cases or the pains of various diseases such as cancer. Around up to a quarantine of disorders could benefit from this type of treatments.
However, its efficacy as a medicinal product has not yet been demonstrated conclusively, since it is necessary to establish a balance between possible positive effects and undesirable side effects, which is complicated given that the consumption of this plant has been associated with a greater risk of suffering psychotic outbreaks.
Judgment of the Supreme Court of Justice in favor of the Mexican Society of Tolerant and Responsible Self-Consumption (SMART)
In some cases the judicial system has failed in favor of the medicinal and even recreational use of cannabis , as happened when the Supreme Court of Justice allowed its use to the SMART association.
Social insecurity due to organized crime around drug trafficking
Mexico has starred for years a tough fight against organized crime and drug trafficking, resulting in a lot of crimes and deaths and to the existence of a high level of insecurity for its population.
The approval of this proposal would serve to legalize consumption and improve control over a conflicting element, diminishing the power of those who traffic in this substance.
Changes in neighboring countries
The different regions adjoining the Central American country have been developing diverse policies that affect the situation of the country and the fight against drug trafficking.
For example, in the United States, the states of Colorado, Washington and California have passed laws that allow the recreational use of marijuana. This causes that Mexico must react with similar policies , or otherwise the power of the different drug cartels could increase as they have a greater possibility of trafficking with neighboring countries.
Proposed changes in legislation
The proposed initiative included a series of changes in legislation that would allow the clinical use of marijuana. Specifically, the following stand out.
First, the core of the proposal was aimed at allowing the therapeutic and scientific use of marijuana. To this end, it is intended to authorize research with marijuana and its active ingredients.
A second point to note is the authorization of the use of medicines based on marijuana and its active ingredients , whether they are imported or if in the future nationally produced medicines are manufactured and marketed.
Finally, it is intended to extend up to 28 grams the limit in terms of the amount that is allowed to possess, this change being retroactive so as to free those inmates imprisoned for possessions greater than the original 5g.
This last change seeks to stop the pursuit of consumption, having effects on the recreational use of the substance.
The vote taken in the Senate would result in 98 votes in favor and 7 against the proposal to authorize the medicinal and scientific use of cannabis.
However, other proposals such as the increase to 28 grams with respect to the amount allowed and the possibility of legalizing the self-cultivation were postponed until a more complete analysis could be made regarding its possible effects.