Mexico president open to debate on marijuana legalization

Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto personally opposes legalizing cannabis in his country, although he’s willing to hear advocates out on the issue.

Peña Nieto says he welcomes a major national debate on marijuana legalization in an effort to make an informed change to the country’s drug policy, Vice News reports.

“I am not the owner of the truth,” Peña Nieto said. “I am open to listening to well-documented positions that are scientifically sustainable and could lead to a different position.”

The president’s comments come after a series of precedent-setting court cases.

A historic supreme court decision ruled last week says citizens should have the right to smoke and grow marijuana, after a group of activists formed their own cannabis club to challenge the country’s archaic drug laws.

“Marijuana is harmful to health,” Peña Nieto said, “but from the human rights perspective you cannot stop anybody, specifically the four people in the case, from using their freedom to consume it if they want.”

Earlier in September, 8-year-old Graciela Elizalde also made history when a federal judge ruled in her favor to to be allowed to use and import CBD-rich medical cannabis oil to treat a severe form of epilepsy. Grace’s family is now the only one in Mexico with permission to import medical marijuana products.

Despite the president’s newfound enthusiasm for a political debate, legalization advocates remain skeptic.

“For me debate is a code word for saying that the government is not going to do anything,” said Armando Santacruz, one of the four people behind the supreme court case, to Vice News. “This subject has been on the table for over 50 years. This is something that should have been done a long time ago.”

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