Crime & Justice

Mexicans are ready for legalized pot, president says

Mexico City, Nov 26 (efe-epa).- Mexicans will react responsibly to the legalization of recreational marijuana, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Thursday.

“If something is authorized, something is permitted, then people act with responsibility. And I believe that will happen with this new legislation on the use of marijuana,” the president, popularly known as AMLO, said during his daily session with reporters.

Mexico’s Senate passed the bill last week and the lower house of Congress is expected to follow suit.

AMLO, who has long supported medicinal marijuana while expressing reservations about recreational pot, said it is necessary to “have confidence in people and seek to do good.”

“Now with the pandemic it has been made clear that it is possible to face difficult, painful situations with the conscious participation of citizens, that we can look after ourselves,” he said.

Covid-19 has claimed 104,000 lives in Mexico, where the number of confirmed cases recently topped 1 million.

The leftist president addressed the recreational marijuana bill after putting forward his proposal for a new ethical code to guide Mexicans, describing both as expressions of a “change of mentality.”

“There is more social responsibility, more awareness, and this (pot legalization) is part of the aim of carrying out a revolution of consciousness in which each of us becomes responsible for our actions,” AMLO said. “Things are not imposed, may we learn to control ourselves and act in freedom.”

Describing the ideal society as one without prohibitions, he ceded the podium to columnist and writer Pedro Miguel and asked him to comment on legalization of recreational pot.

“We must wager on building more schools than jails, on expanding liberties and restricting prohibitions, and wager above all on the capacity of people to rehabilitate themselves, to regenerate, to re-integrate socially,” the president’s friend said.

The legislation now before the lower house would legalize the cultivation, distribution and consumption of cannabis in Mexico, albeit under federal regulation.

Each household would be allowed to cultivate up to eight pot plants and adults would be free to smoke marijuana in private as long as no minors are present.

Other provisions would establish a process to license growers and allow the development and sale of non-psychoactive cannabis edibles and other derivatives. EFE mm/dr

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