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(Don’t) smoke em if you got em (just yet)

8 November 2019

Marijuana was supposed to be legalized by the end of October, but “shamefully” (according to Víctor Gutiérrez and Tania Ramírez of the Drug Policy Program of México Unido Contra la Delincuencia) under a Supreme Court ruling, but the court has given the Senate another few months before the small minority of Mexicans (about 1 percent in a month, four percent at some point in their lives) can indulge.

Given that the rationale for legalization, despite the court’s finding that it was the right of Mexicans to whatever form of personal recreation they wanted, and to access what medications they needed, no one pretends the “real” reason was to take the profits out of the illegal export trade. Not so much for the benefit of that small number of Mexicans, but to capture what had been a business run by unsavory types, and substantial profits going unaccounted for, only returning to Mexico in dribs and drabs… and, as to revenue for the state… mostly in the form of bribes to selected officials. On top of that, attempts to eradicate the trade have proven worthless, and a drain on the economy (not to mention getting too many people killed).

The Senate bills (which would still need to go to the Chamber) were undermined by lobbying by Canadian corporatons, who have been quick to gain control of that country’s legal marijuana production. Given that a goal was to get the shady operators out of the business, and provide a better revenue stream for producers, yet another Mexican export under control of foreigners hardly seemed sporting. Under corporate control, the major fields run by “cartels” would still be run by big organizations, ones with no ties to the local community, and depending on expoited casual labor. The growers who depend on marijuana to supplement their too low farming income would either lose out altogether on sales, or be forced to grown more marijuana at the expense of other less-lucrative (but more in demand) crops like corn and beans.

Carroll, Linda, “One in seven U.S. adults used marijuana in 2017
Reuters, 27 August 2019.

Gutiérrez, Victor and Tania Ramírez, “Cannabis: una prórroga excepcional y vergonzosa“. Animal Politico, 6 November 2019.

Prevalence of Drug Use in the General Population of Mexico (ENA) [National Addiction Survey], By Gender” Drug War Facts.

One Comment leave one →
  1. norm permalink
    8 November 2019 8:16 am

    I can only say what I’ve experienced as an observant/nosey tourist in southern Mexico: The service staff in Mexican Hotels smoke a lot of pot. I’ve watched the service boys sneak off behind the rooftop AC units and a few seconds later… a cloud wafting my way. It is mostly the teenage staff that are blatant. Talking to guides at ruins, they seem to think pot use is pretty common among adults as well but kept more on the DQ. I’ve run onto small patches of pot growing at ruins before in Yucatan, nothing big, twenty or thirty plants. Now Belize-they don’t even try to be discreet.

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