‘Not in Our Nation’

Despite vicious gang wars and a decision by the country’s Supreme Court, Mexicans don’t want marijuana legalized

by Aileen Teague

Changing attitudes have brought about marijuana decriminalization or legalization in several countries throughout the world and even in some U.S. states, but despite a recent Mexican Supreme Court ruling in favor of giving a few individuals the right to grow and distribute marijuana, decriminalizing the drug is not the people’s choice.

Vague as the discussion of marijuana decriminalization is, a decision to fully legalize it in Mexico—following the paths of Latin American countries such as Uruguay and Chile—is opposed by more than two-thirds of Mexicans, according to a recent telephone survey conducted by the Mexican newspaper El Universal. Though many in the nation are open to a wide-ranging debate on the issue, including allowing access to medicinal marijuana, the majority of Mexicans believe full legalization would be more detrimental than beneficial to their country.

“I don’t want any of those involved in this famous liberalization to become marijuana addicts,” Manuel Mondragón, head of Mexico’s National Commission on Addictions, said in a November speech. “I don’t want a society addicted to marijuana.”

In an interview published in El Universal following the court’s ruling, the Deputy Secretary for Higher Education, Salvador Jara, echoed the sentiment. Legalization, said Jara, “could have a very negative impact because it could break with important traditional cultures in Mexico and damage the social fabric.”

If the majority of Mexicans do not want the drug decriminalized, why did the Supreme Court’s …

To read complete articles from the Winter 2016 issue, with photographs and illustrations,  you must subscribe to our eReader edition.

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