MEXICO: If marijuana is legalized in the Mexican capital, as the local government proposes, this country would have to review its adherence to the three international drug control treaties, a trail already blazed by other nations.
The Mexico City Federal District city council and the leftwing government of Mayor Miguel Mancera announced that debates would begin in September on health, economic and security aspects of marijuana, popularly known here as “mota”, and medical use might by approved by the end of the year.
“Several countries have questioned the drug control treaties for health reasons,”
lawyer Fernando Gómez-Mont, former interior minister in the government of conservative president Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), told IPS. “This creates tension for the operation of the U.N. conventions,”
Under the General Health Law, amended in 2009, state governments have the authority to legislate on health issued related to illegal drugs. The law permits possession for personal use of five grams of marijuana, 500 milligrams of cocaine and 50 milligrams of heroin, but bans production, distribution and sale of these substances.
his country of 118 million people is a party to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 and the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971.
“In Mexico, intermediate steps (on drug decriminalisation) may be taken without neighbouring countries necessarily having to follow suit. It is far more viable in the capital,” writer Jorge Castañeda, former foreign minister in the conservative government of Vicente Fox (2000-2006), told IPS.
“For example, in the United States some states have taken decisions of this kind,” said Castañeda, who has become a staunch advocate of decriminalization.