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Opinion
Ricardo Castillo
Ricardo Castillo Marijuana Debates The status of marijuana use in Mexico stands exactly in the same spot as it did last April 6, 2015
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It’s been almost a year since the Interior Secretariat (Gobernaciòn) began the debate on legalizing marijuana use or not.

Since last April 6, several forums were held in different locations of the nation and by now it is clear that results are both inconclusive and uncertain.

There are people clearly for legalizing just the medicinal use, other for decriminalizing the so-called “ludic” use (just for the fun of it) and of course, throngs who by now have to admit that the use of marijuana is seemingly inevitable, keep the dosage down – but sufficient – on users but still punishable by law.

Two factors influenced the so-called “debates” and they were the opinions of President Enrique Peña Nieto who from the beginning said no to legalization, to the recent and influential visit of Pope Francis who also said no, but admitted to the medicinal potentials of marijuana.

Roberto Gil Zuarth, president of the Senate, opened public hearings on the positioning of Mexico to the special session of the United Nations General Assembly on the world drug problem. Photo: Cuartoscuro.com

Roberto Gil Zuarth, president of the Senate, opened public hearings on the positioning of Mexico to the special session of the United Nations General Assembly on the world drug problem. Photo: Cuartoscuro

At the Senate on Tuesday the “debate” continued between opposing political parties with National Action Party Senate whip Roberto Gil Zuarth outright warned that there would be no conclusion or decision during this upcoming session of the Senate while Miguel Barbosa, leader of the Party of the Democratic Revolution retorted questioning, “Why then were the political forums to debate legalization held for?”

Good question.

An answer may lie in the very nature of the people participating in the forums or debates, which of course, were never debates as such.

What those interested got was a massive dose of boring opinions based both on legal and medical studies.

Brainy scientists aired their views of the neuropsychological impact of smoking grass and legal experts analyzed the current public ministries system which takes care of offenders who are just users, that is, mostly teenagers.

From the sound of the mostly verbose and boring studies submitted and read out loud by slick looking dudes, none of the “experts” on marijuana use even had a drag.

The formality of the “debates” followed pretty much the Mexican bureaucratic dosage of righteousness and rigid points of view which has led to the final result of all talk and no results.

The status of marijuana use in Mexico stands exactly in the same spot as it did last April 6, 2015.

Why then all the hoopla about “debating” and making it look – particularly to the millions of upcoming users, an inevitable reality – that everything is possible in a democracy if discussed.

From the legal point of view, the current status quo is the preferential reality because the constant arrest of teenagers signifies a cash cow for the juridical system but also a source of bribery to arresting officials and public ministry officers.

In “defense” of the legal system, claiming that the police and public ministry system is not corrupt to the marrow in Mexico would be beating a dead horse. It is and that’s no secret.

But also hearing from senators like Gil Zuarth that any move on the issue will be postponed means that the same measuring stick will be applied to “offenders” and that “the buckets of saliva” (as put by comedian Brozo) spilled over the issue of legalizing marijuana were not just a waste of word and time, but also a failed effort by Interior secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong who was behind the organization of the so-called debates.

The problem is a very real one as the amount of users keeps growing and simple economics tell you that demand controls supply.

One question that is in this writers’ mind is how much did the US Embassy and the Drug Enforcement Administration lobby against legalization. I really don’t know but it’d surprise me to the hilt if it wasn’t a lot.

But to make a long story short, we’re exactly the same as where we were last year, and that is, with a problem on top that just won’t go away and a solution that continues to elude those in government.

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