Advertisement

Mexico's Lopez Obrador favors drug legalization if crime drops

By
Renzo Pipoli
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday he supports initiatives to decriminalize less-threatening drugs if it helps reduce crime. Photo by Jose Mendez/ EPA EFE
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday he supports initiatives to decriminalize less-threatening drugs if it helps reduce crime. Photo by Jose Mendez/ EPA EFE

Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday he favors initiatives to legalize some drugs if it can help rampant violent crimes drop.

"We will review this about the consumption of drugs, that are so to speak, not so harmful, not so addictive, not so dangerous, if this helps up also to achieve peace," Lopez Obrador said.

Advertisement

The comment came after his Morena Party introduced in November a bill in the Mexican Senate to allow possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana, in a bid to quell related violence. Then-president-elect Lopez Obrador said last fall he's open to changing Mexico's drug policies.

The General Law for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis would make it legal to use marijuana in public, except where smoking tobacco is not allowed, according to the senate bill.

RELATED Pot use in youth linked to risk for depression, suicidal behavior

Lopez Obrador said his government plans to work on solutions to root out causes of drug problems, first by creating work opportunity and second by supplying information.

"We will respectfully ask the United States government so that they can also treat in the same way in the United States," he said.

Advertisement

"This matter is important because the higher the United States consumption, the higher the traffic," he added. "We want to go to the root problem and not just treat the effects, but look deeper into the causes."

RELATED Chronic pain drives most medical cannabis use, study says

In October, Mexico's Supreme Court legalized cannabis for recreational use, which an analyst said paved the way for adults to use marijuana in any way the see fit. However, legislation changes and regulations are still pending.

Crime rates are reaching records in Mexico, in large part associated with drug related violence by the cartels. Lopez Obrador has blamed the problem on a lack of security agents and has announced plans to create a new national guard.

Mexico recorded more than 1,700 homicides in December.

RELATED Ecuador's Congress weighs approval of cannabis oil

The only Latin American country that has legalized all uses of marijuana is Uruguay.

"If we do this, the world will be a less violent place for future generations," Miguel Ruiz Cabañas, a deputy human rights minister under former President Enrique Pena Nieto, said in November.

Latest Headlines