Mexico City to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession?

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Mexico City to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession?

Post by Puffin13 »

Mexico City to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession?

While the government of Mexican President Felipe Calderon has signaled that it wants to decriminalize drug possession, legislators in Mexico City aren't waiting for the government to act. The left-leaning Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) has introduced legislation that would decriminalize marijuana possession in Mexico City and provide for the opening of establishments that would sell up to five grams per person, the same limit as Holland's famous marijuana coffee shops.

The legislation was presented by PRD Deputy and Federal District Legislative Assembly President Victor Hugo Cirigo on October 14. It includes a provision limiting the amount of pot one could possess without penalty to 30 grams, or slightly more than one ounce. Cirigo said the legislation also envisions allowing people to grow up to five plants in their homes.

Under current law, marijuana is illegal, and the importation of seeds or other products derived from marijuana is also illegal. In Mexico City, people caught smoking marijuana are typically fined 21 to 30 days minimum salary (a common way of computing fines in Latin America) or jailed for 24 to 36 hours.

Cirigo told a press conference he was proposing the legislation because of the therapeutic uses of the herb. He also cited its potential impact on Mexico's drug trafficking organizations. Nearly 4,000 people have been killed so far this year in prohibition-related violence as the various so-called cartels, Mexican state, local, and federal police forces, and the Mexican military engage in a multi-sided war over the illicit drug trade.

"In Italy and Canada they utilize it for therapeutic uses, and in other countries like Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and Portugal it is decriminalized," said Cirigo.

Cirigo said organized crime is making $13 billion a year off the drug trade. More than half of that -- $8 billion -- is derived from the marijuana business, he said.

"We are going to hit the drug traffickers where it hurts most, which is decriminalizing marijuana," he said.

If the measure were to pass in the local legislative assembly, it would then be sent to the federal congress, which could then amend federal health laws to allow for decriminalization. President Calderon called recently for the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of all drugs, including up to two grams of marijuana, but Cirigo called Calderon's proposal "weak and timid."

In response to a question during the press conference, Cirigo said he had smoked pot as a youth, but no longer did so. "I smoked in my youth in the '70s," he said. "I was class of 1978, and of course I know what it is to smoke marijuana."


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Post by Maccobicco »

I remember some years ago they already discussed it. It would be a great signal if they would have a similar model to the Netherlands.

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