Just a week after Mexico’s Supreme Court supported a person’s right to cultivate and use cannabis, a bill was introduced by a senator from the President’s governing party that would establish a fluid system for patients to obtain cannabis-based (cannabinoid) medications.
In front of nearly a dozen families with children who suffer from illness that could potentially be treated with cannabis products, Senator Cristina Diaz Salazar, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, said,
“We know that this constitutes a hope for all of you to be able to mitigate the pain and suffering of your loved ones.”
(Marco Ugarte/Associated Press)
Among those in attendance was the Elizalde family, parents of the first person for whom permission has ever been granted to legally import cannabinoid medicine into Mexico. In September, a federal judge ruled that the Elizaldes should be able to import cannabinoid medication under the constitutional right to protect the health of their 8-year-old daughter, Graciela.
Graciela suffers from a severe form of epilepsy, and her parents have watched her health severely deteriorate since she was just a few months old. Physicians prescribed Graciela every pharmaceutical medication available, and they even tried brain surgery. Nothing helped improve her condition, and cannabis was their last resort. Since Graciela started taking low-THC, high-CBD cannabis oil treatments, she has been able to sleep through the night for the first time.
Although this measure does not include language regarding the cultivation or wholesale of medical marijuana, it would make it possible for cannabis to be imported. Salazar explained her reasoning for introducing this measure,
“This measure is responding to the urgent need to allow availability of medicines through importation.”
If the measure passed, Mexico’s health code would be reorganized, reducing THC from a schedule I controlled substance to a schedule III. The importation of medical marijuana would also be authorized, and a 10 percent tax would be imposed. Domestic production of cannabis would remain illegal throughout Mexico.
In order for this proposal to pass, it must be approved by members of Mexico’s Houses of Congress and the Institutional Revolutionary Party. Allied lawmakers regulate the two chambers.
The speed at which the recognition of the medicinal value of cannabis has spread throughout the Mexican government is astounding. Cannabis has been illegal in Mexico since 1925, following the International Opium Convention, and polls report that public opinion of the plant is overwhelmingly negative. The negative views are largely influenced by the same type of propaganda experienced throughout the United States, and similarly to the movement in the United States, the rapid movement towards acceptance in Mexico demonstrates how quickly cannabis treatment success stories can destroy years of propaganda.