Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mexican Senate votes for legal medical cannabis

Mexico senate votes to legalize medicinal cannabis | News | DW.COM | 14.12.2016 - Deutsche Welle:

December 14, 2016 - "Following a national debate on narcotics policy, the Mexican senate passed a bill on Tuesday approving the use of marijuana for medical purposes.... Senators voted 98-7 for the legislation....

"In a major policy shift, President Enrique Pena Nieto proposed legalizing medical marijuana in April after his government organized forums to discuss changes to the laws.

"The bill fails to meet demands from lawmakers and civil groups, however, who argue that wider legalization can help the country which is mired in brutal drug violence. Nieto opposes a broader legalization of marijuana but has previously proposed increasing the amount of the drug that can legally be possessed for personal consumption [to] 28 grams (one ounce) from five grams....

"In the decade since then-President Felipe Calderon launched a militarized offensive against Mexico's drug cartels, more than 100,000 people have been killed and some 30,000 more are missing....

"Senator Angelica de la Pena Gomez, of the PRD, said there was consensus to 'do something different in drug policy' because prohibition 'has generated high levels of violence, more than 100,000 deaths and the systematic violation of human rights.'

"In a statement summarizing the debate, the Senate said the measure directs the Health Department to 'design public policies to regulate the medicinal use of this plant and its derivatives' - including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the plant's main psychoactive ingredient.

"It also would establish that industrial products with concentrations of 1 percent THC or less would be legal to buy, sell, import and export. The cultivation of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes will not be punishable.

"The bill, passed on Tuesday, will now move to the lower Chamber of Deputies for consideration."

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