On Tuesday the Senate will analyze the initiative that it proposes to allow the recreational use of Marijuana, increase the allowed dose from 5 to 28 grams and create the Mexican Cannabis Institute.
With the possible legalization of marijuana, Mexico will violate three international agreements that have restricted the use of this drug for more than half a century because it considers that it generates dependence and adverse health consequences.
It will be next Tuesday when the Senate decides on the prediction of the law that contemplates allowing the recreational use of marijuana, increasing the allowed dose from 5 to 28 grams and creating the Mexican Cannabis Institute, among other topics.
Currently, all cannabis, including speck, are regulated by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Trafficking and Organized Crime of 1988.
In the 1961 Convention, cannabis is included in the list I, which contains the substances considered the most addictive and harmful; as well as in list IV, which includes the few substances with particularly dangerous properties and of little or no therapeutic utility, which has been widely debated.
In spite of this, none of the conventions establish the listed drugs as illegal, nor is it indicated with an express prohibition or any need to criminalize the use of marijuana, except in list IV, although they are more restrictive when referring to the possession, acquisition or cultivation for personal consumption.
In the last six years, there has been a worldwide trend to look for alternatives that counteract the increasing consumption of this cannabis through the legalization of its production and consumption for recreational purposes.
Faced with the debate in Mexico about the so-called war on drug trafficking, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) recalled that the actions aimed at legalizing the speck for purposes beyond doctors contravene international treaties.
In presenting the report of the INCB 2018, Raúl Martín del Campo Sánchez, a member of the board of the international body, declared that when taking a decision to legalize marijuana, it must be informed to the United Nations Organization for contravening international agreements ratified by Mexico.
In its report, the agency accused Uruguay, Canada and some entities of the United States of putting international treaties at risk by opening the door to the recreational consumption of this plant.
“The universal and full application of the treaties is in serious danger because some States parties have legalized the use of cannabis for non-medical purposes. Measures (…) can undermine treaties. In addition, they can encourage other States parties to follow their example and use it to justify their own actions, ”he warned.
The representative in Mexico of the United Nations Organization for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Antonino de Leo, said during his commission in Bolivia that the legalization or decriminalization of drugs is not an option in the Fight against drug trafficking and addictions.
On the contrary, he estimated, this will considerably increase the consumption of substances so far controlled by the INCB, since they would be much more accessible. At the same time, he considered that drug trafficking should be fought as part of a global strategy.
Before the start of the discussion in the Senate of a law that can legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, MILENIO sought UNODC to know his opinion on the subject; however, he preferred not to comment on the matter considering the moment of the discussion in Mexico.
Last Friday, MILENIO reported that the government wants to boost the production of marijuana for recreational use with resources from private and development banks, as the Senate presented a prediction of law, which provides for its production in the country.
This document also states that indigenous people, as well as small farmers, will have priority in granting concessions and permits for cannabis production.
Likewise, it is proposed to create the Mexican Cannabis Institute, which will remain under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior and will be the body responsible for mediating the concessions granted.
Between the negotiations, they established that 28 grams will be accepted in the port, which is currently only 5, and people who consume marijuana with recreational use may have a maximum of four plants in their homes.
INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE. COUNTRIES THAT ALREADY GET PROFITS FOR LEGALIZED SALE
CANADIAN ARCHES GROW
In less than a year, Canadian public coffers received $ 139 million for the legalization of marijuana, while experiencing a 20 percent reduction in illegal cannabis production. However, the black market has boomed due to the limited presence of establishments that offer the sale of this plant and the high costs, since while one gram in the legal market costs about 10 dollars, in illegality the price ranges from 6 dollars According to the National Cannabis Survey, in Canada there are 4.9 million consumers of this plant, of which four out of 10 claim to resort to illegality to acquire the drug. The regulation approved only in June 2018 establishes the possibility that each household can grow up to four plants and generate edible products for personal use, In addition, a person may carry up to 30 grams of the drug in public places. The criteria for its commercialization establish the need for authorization by Health Canada for its cultivation and a license from the Canada Revenue Agency that allows the sale of cannabis. In addition, the legal products of this drug must bear a special seal.
IN THE NETHERLANDS, TOLERANCE
The iconic coffee shops in the center of Amsterdam became an international reference point on marijuana recreational use since the 1970s; however, cultivation, sale and even possession is prohibited in the Netherlands. Since 1976, a tolerance policy for the responsible consumption of cannabis has been applied in the Netherlands through these establishments where from the age of 18 up to five grams of marijuana and hashish can be legally acquired. The innovative policy of this country implemented with the objective of counteracting the great problem faced at the time by the use of heroin seems to become a failed experiment that today demands greater openness. Paradoxically, In the Netherlands, the possession and consumption of cannabis is a crime although it is allowed that a person can carry up to 5 grams without risk of being prosecuted, although it will be confiscated and at risk of being arrested in case the person refuses to deliver it to the authorities. If the weight is higher, it is considered as commercial use and entails a fine of up to 3,500 euros; while if the possession is greater than 30 grams, it is considered a crime with a penalty of two years in jail.
URUGUAY, THE FIRST
On the night of December 10, 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize and regulate the production, marketing, and possession of marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes under the control of the State. Currently, more than 47 thousand Uruguayans regularly access one of the most widely used drugs worldwide, their main access route is the pharmacies that in two years have sold 2,875 kilos of marijuana, which meant an income for the State over 3 million dollars. Although pharmacies supply 77 percent of currently registered consumers, Law 19,172 also allows domestic cultivation with a maximum of 6 plants that do not exceed 440 grams per year, in which it is estimated that more than 7 thousand people participate. The third way to access marijuana legally is the 123 consumer clubs that exist throughout Uruguay and supply 3,417 people, a route increasingly used by the population. The sale in pharmacies and clubs began operating until 2017, three years after it achieved legalization, and through a prior registration where citizens over 18 must scan their footprint and declare their address.
USA, THE EXPERIMENT
The United States, the second-largest marijuana consumer in the world, has become in 10 years a peculiar experiment on the legalization of this drug and the claim to counteract the high consumption of this drug. While at the federal level the production and commercialization of this drug is punishable, 11 states allow consumption and production for recreational purposes, with Colorado being the first to open the door to its legalization in 2012. So far Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have already decriminalized their consumption, and in 33 more states, their consumption is legal for medicinal purposes, which generates a market of more than 22 million consumers. Only Colorado has raised more than 200 million dollars a year from the sale of this drug, although the number of visits to the emergency rooms has increased during this time, as well as the number of mental health cases reported by hospitals. However, until 2018 the Department of Public Safety of that state reported a drop in the arrests related to the speck in 52 percent and 33 percent lower traffic accidents.
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