Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Feb. 27 that he wants to focus on medical cannabis and not recreational cannabis at this time, despite the fact that the Senate has been working on final legalization provisions for some time.
According to Marijuana Moment, when asked about the issue at a press conference, Obrador said things are still up in the air and claimed “we are not thinking about this now.” He also claimed he is currently considering “medical purposes only, only for health purposes.”
Furthermore, he went on to say that less consumption of drugs in general was needed, and that cannabis may lead to violence and shouldn’t be glamorized by the media, as he feels they currently are. “ . . . we need to stop the increase in consumption because, if we do not achieve this, it will be difficult or it will be more complicated to guarantee peace and tranquility.
“Let’s start with a direct campaign about what this underworld of sacrifices really means—of pain, this bitter reality,” he added, claiming he’s “confident that we will calm down the country and put order, and we will move forward in the fight against drugs.”
This has definitely surprised Senators and cannabis advocates alike, who were working on reform and a comprehensive legalization bill. Members of the Justice, Health, Legislative Studies and Public Safety Committees still plan to meet and review the details of legalization and decide what next steps will be.
Obrador stance on cannabis is a far cry from other leaders such as former Mexico president Vicente Fox (between 2000-2006), who often spoke positively about cannabis consumption. He has continued to advocate for cannabis, while also keeping tabs on the industry by joining the board of High Times and speaking at events like the 4th Annual Cannabis Business Summit.
Many were excited about the legalization plan recently drafted by Mexico officials, although the deadline has been extended for quite some time.