Mexico Inches Toward Legalization Of Drugs

Centimeter by centimeter, not inch by inch
BY: FERNANDO RODRIGUEZ

After Canada passed their Cannabis Act, (Bill C-45) on June 2019, the consumption and use of marijuana became legal nationwide, both for medicinal reasons and recreational. In the good ol' US of A, there are currently 10 states where the purchase and use of marijuana is legal, which are Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont Washington and Washington. DC.

The situation in Mexico has also been changing when it comes to marijuana and other cannabis items, such as edibles and oils. On January 3, the government of Mexico announced that marijuana-based products will reach the Mexican market this year, with the first batch of marijuana laced gummy bears arriving on shelves by the end of this month. CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of at least 113 identified cannabinoids found in hemp plants, accounting for up to 40% of the plant’s once controversial extract. The company, CBD Life, will import the product from the United States and sell a pack for about $12.50, a price that is far cheaper than in the U.S., where it sells for $50.

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Gummie Bears! The iconoic candy we all grew up with has been hijacked by the marijuana business
 

CBD Life Chief Operating Officer and founder Janko Ruíz de Chávez recently explained that the CBD gummies, sold in fruit and berry flavors, will allow the Mexican public to get to know the benefits of CBD in a safe and chewy way. The product, he said, ''is a pleasant way to know the ingredient, and it is oriented toward non fatal and small ailments like anxiety, stress, pain, depression, and imbalances of the nervous system.”

One of 10 Mexican firms approved by the Federal Commission for Protection Against Health Risks (COFEPRIS) to import cannabis-based products, CBD Life also intends to sell Mariguanol, a CBD-based ointment. The Mexico City-based firm currently has a portfolio of 21 products that it will sell in the San Pablo, Ahorro, Yza and Guadalajara drug stores Nutrisa, and online at Amazon México.

With time, the Marijuana-based gummies will eventually reach the Baja California market and find their way into Cabo San Lucas pharmacies. For hundreds of elderly folks in the Los Cabos-Todos Santos-Lap Paz area, who purchase and depend on underground homemade edibles like brownies, cookies and fudge, these new developments are welcome news. ''I can't smoke weed or even inhale from marijuana-oil vapes,'' said Susan V., a former Los Angeles Community College District employee who requested her full name not be used, ''and am solely dependent on edibles, to ease the nausea and headaches I suffer from.''

Since 2006, Mexico has been mired in a military-led battle against drug gangs, which have now splintered into smaller groups that fight for trafficking routes and territory to sell drugs. Homicides hit a record high in 2017, so it is hoped legalizing drugs will fix this. People are hopeful and still awaiting news from new Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) who pledged during his campaign to seriously consider the legalization of all drugs in Mexico, as a means to end the cycle of war on drug violence. In October, 2018, Obrador said. ''There should be a comprehensive approach to the terrible problem of insecurity and violence.''

The president has held townhall reviews on violence and discussed potential amnesty for non-violent drug traffickers and farmers. Members of his team have previously said Mexico would evaluate creating legal markets for marijuana as well as opium and it would appear the CBD gummies are a clear step in that direction.