Ask A Mexican

Mexico's tourism secretary recently suggested that marijuana be legalized in tourist destinations – Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo, specifically – to help curb drug gang violence in those regions. This week we asked: What do you think of this idea? Do you think it would help?

1. Lizeth Garcia, 38, stay at home mom

I do not think it will help anything, except turn them into even crazier destinations for spring breakers. Marijuana is a gateway drug and only gets our young adults closer to the edge of other things. When they start feeling like marijuana is not enough, they will try harder things and, in the long run, ruin their life. If we wanted to cut drug gang violence then we would invest in educational programs instead of making these dumb decisions.

2. Jose Zepeda, 21, student

I think that is one of the few good ideas the government has had in a long time. Marijuana is harmless, it actually has many medicinal properties and there is no risk of overdosing. The gang violence happens because they all want to sell in the same spot and make money. With legalization, there’s nothing to fight about and it can even be regulated, and the government could make great money from the taxes.

3. Diana Corona, 19, student

I do think it would help, given the fact that many innocent people are killed each year because they are caught in gang fights. If marijuana is legal, we could raise the tourist numbers like in Amsterdam, where the government is a lot better than here and the whole city has more money.

4. Valentina Vallejo, 42, shoe designer

I am not against the idea but not necessarily for it, either. I believe there are other ways to stop gang fights, and other ways to raise tourism. The secretary is just taking the easy road so he can do less of his job, leaving it to a popular trend. If medicinal marijuana was made legal then it would be totally different because, although some people fake being sick, others do really benefit from it.

5. Jaylin Diaz, 18, telemarketer

I do not think it’s a great idea, but it’s something. I have seen kids start smoking marijuana when they are about eight years old and then become the typical neighborhood thug. If it was made legal, we must not forget that Cabo and Cancun, besides being tourist towns, also have huge local areas that are already considered “slums” when compared to resorts.

6. Julia Zepeda, 31, therapist

It’s an amazing idea! Finally, the people in government seats are using their brains. Mexican herb doctors have been using marijuana for the longest time, and just because some kids make stupid decisions, it doesn’t mean all of us should pay the price. Weed is smoked by all sorts of people, all ages, shapes and sizes. It’s not a gateway drug because it does not create an addiction. On the contrary, it helps regulate stress levels. Plus, we could really make a lot of money as a country, since we have the perfect climate for it to grow.