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Mexico City moves to decriminalize marijuana

Thursday, October 17, 2013 by: PF Louis
Tags: marijuanadrug lawsMexico City

Irony of ironies. In the late 1930s, former prohibition bureaucrat Henry J. Anslinger took over the newly formed Bureau of Narcotics in Washington, DC, to create the case against cannabis and hemp.

Only he constantly and zealously used the Mexican slang term "marijuana" for his fear mongering lies instead of "hemp" or "cannabis," which was commonly prescribed medicinally by American Medical Association (AMA) doctors.

This enabled him to push through the Marijuana Tax Act after plotting and planning for two years. He also got support from various industrial and financial magnates that wanted hemp cultivation curbed to eliminate industrial hemp's competition.

Dr. William C. Woodward, Legislative Council of the American Medical Association, was upset that the term "marijuana" was used to disguise the fact that it would hamper prescription and distribution of cannabis remedies.

Woodward proclaimed that, had he known the proposed marijuana legislation was referring to cannabis or hemp, he would have intervened earlier.

The hearing was short and Dr. Woodward was openly criticized for objecting to the law that would financially penalize doctors and pharmacists for prescribing and distributing cannabis extracts.

The times they are a-changin'

So here we are now constantly using the term "marijuana" instead of "hemp" or "cannabis," as in "medical marijuana." And not only are states increasingly ratifying legislation to permit medical marijuana, but there is a slowly advancing movement toward legalizing marijuana completely.

Mexico, where a lot of recreational cannabis is grown and exported to the U.S., has been ahead of the curve with easing marijuana restrictions and leading the movement to totally legalize marijuana.

Former Mexico president Vicente Fox is urging the USA to follow Mexico's progress with decriminalizing pot use and eventually permitting hemp THC cultivation and distribution by private business concerns.

In 2009, Mexico eased up on pot smokers by not pressing charges for having small amounts of the substance. According to Fox and others, Mexico has never really gone after users of any illegal drugs, only distributors.

Nevertheless, the 2009 law codified the maximum amounts allowed for personal use of all drugs. For marijuana, it was 5 grams, good enough for four or five joints.

Now, Mexico City officials are considering decriminalizing marijuana further. Mexico's overall philosophy has been to differentiate between casual users, drug addicts and drug cartel criminals.

But some have complained that the 2009 law left it open for police and detectives to shake down those who weren't aware of their drug law leniency and extort bribes from them. Most of those extorted would be gringos, of course.

This may have been one factor for Mexico City's current proposal to permit pot users holding 30 grams, a little over an ounce, of marijuana. Another proposal is to permit marijuana clubs to grow their own for its members. Shades of Amsterdam.

Why is Fox so keen on all this?

Former Mexican president Fox has openly promoted totally legalizing marijuana in Mexico and the USA lately. At a public event in Central Mexico where Fox took the Dali Lama on a tour of his Fox Center, an audience member asked the Dalai Lama if he though medical marijuana should be allowed.

Fox laughed when the question was asked, and his holiness answered to the affirmative for medicinal use, but he wasn't keen with its recreational use. However, Fox points to the fact that young people already have access under current laws, so why bother chasing down pot smokers.

He insists it would be wiser to open up marijuana cultivation and distribution for private business concerns and government taxation. He asserts this would lower prices and diminish drug cartels' power.

Wasn't there a press release some years ago about Fox's vast land holdings? How do you say "pot plantation" in Spanish?

Sources for this article include:

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