2016-06-29 23:21:40

With drug-related violence taking the lives of tens of thousands of Mexicans every year, it's clear that the complete prohibition of drugs South of the Border isn't working. In the past, calls to loosen the laws and decriminalize marijuana have fallen on deaf ears with Mexican President, Enrique Pena Nieto, who has been determined to maintain the status quo; however, it now seems that the Mexican President has changed his tune, and most believe it's for the better.

A New Stance on Marijuana

At the end of April, President Enrique Pena Nieto went on record saying he had reconsidered his previous views on relaxing marijuana laws in Mexico. In a public statement, he said that he is willing to see medical marijuana use fully legalized in the country. He also said that he supports measures to increase the amount of marijuana that a person can legally carry in Mexico from 5 grams to 28 grams. The President of Mexico admitted that current policies were not working and said he planned to send a bill to the Mexican Congress to begin reform.

What's Behind the Move

Many people were shocked to learn that President Enrique Pena Nieto had shifted his position on marijuana laws in Mexico, but the move makes sense in light of the changing landscape with regards to views on marijuana use. Two days prior to the Mexican President's statement, the United Nations General Assembly conducted a special session to talk about drug policy. The session had been in the works since 2012 and had been requested by Mexico, Colombia, and Guatemala to help mobilize the world to address the rampant drug-trafficking.

During the weeks leading up to the UN meeting, President Enrique Pena Nieto said he planned not even to attend and was met with harsh criticisms. Many people said that the Mexican President was doing more to contribute to the drug-related violence than to help it. Whether ultimately attending the session or a desire to reshape his image is behind President Enrique Pena Nieto's new stance on marijuana use is unknown, and really, it's irrelevant.
The move is a positive one that will hopefully allow Mexican law enforcement officers to focus on drug traffickers and violent criminals, rather than on people who need marijuana to treat medical conditions and those who enjoy dry herbs and concentrates purely for recreation.

If President Enrique Pena Nieto is successful at pushing through reforms, Mexico will become one of the more marijuana-friendly countries in Latin America, a sharp contrast from Cuba and Venezuela where marijuana is completely illegal in any amount.

Reference: bbc