“It feels proper as a result of it is for private use. I haven’t got to purchase it from organized crime,” he instructed CNN. “And in some way folks not see you as a prison.”
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has already signaled his approval of the invoice.
The laws is predicted to permit adults from the age of 18 as much as smoke marijuana, develop as many as eight crops for private use, and carry as much as 28 grams of pot. It’s going to additionally present licenses to domesticate, analysis, and export hashish.
Zaragoza mentioned that as quickly because it turns into legislation, he’ll really feel safer, “Typically I am scared for the authorities, they’ll simply arrest me for these crops; this legislation would make me really feel safer at house,” he mentioned.
The Normal Well being Regulation in Mexico at the moment permits folks to hold as much as 5 grams of hashish, however carrying extra might be trigger for prosecution.
Final yr, Mexico’s Secretary of Nationwide Protection destroyed 2,807 hectares of hashish crops and seized 244,112 kilograms of the stuff, in keeping with official figures. However Mercado believes that legalizing the drug as a substitute of preventing it might give the nation a robust financial motor.
“We have misplaced an trade that may be highly effective throughout these instances of financial disaster, unemployment; we might generate incomes and jobs, that is essential,” she mentioned.
Mexico is probably the most vital international supply for marijuana in the USA; in 2019, US Customs and Border Safety seized practically 249,000 kilograms of it alongside its southwestern border, in keeping with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 2020 Nationwide Drug Risk Evaluation.
Nonetheless, in keeping with the identical report, hashish grown and produced within the US — the place it’s already authorized in a number of states — has already supplanted Mexican-grown merchandise within the American market.
Legalization amid Mexico’s drug commerce
Many in Mexico hope legalizing hashish will take away one supply of earnings from the nation’s highly effective and violent drug cartels.
However specialists say the traditionally excessive murder charges partly related to gang violence — Mexico noticed 34,515 homicides in 2020 alone — are unlikely to lower with the legalization of marijuana.
“It’s going to have an effect on (organized crime) in some methods, however on the subject of crime figures, it will not affect in any respect,” mentioned Mexico Metropolis-based safety analyst Eduardo Guerrero, who added that cartel-related deaths are sometimes linked to actions apart from the sale of hashish.
“The violence and executions are not associated to pot-selling; many of the hitmen within the nation that generate violence are in different companies. They’re trafficking cocaine and heroin to the US, extorting folks, and trafficking migrants,” he mentioned.
Éctor Jaime Ramírez, a Congressman from the Nationwide Motion Get together who voted towards the legalization invoice, tells CNN, “We’re fairly positive that (legalization) will not cut back violence as a result of there is no proof that it occurred in a foreign country.”
Nonetheless, legalizing hashish in Mexico might cut back the threats that Mexican shoppers face when shopping for it. “The actual benefit goes to the younger people who wish to purchase it; they do not must go to hidden spots and endure aggressions or be recruited as sellers,” Guerrero mentioned.
Younger folks in Mexico are weak to be recruited, robbed, or damage whereas shopping for medication from sellers. Widespread promoting factors are situated in harmful neighborhoods, and something can occur through the buy.
“Shopping for weed from a vendor is harmful; I have never carried out it for some time, however it was difficult,” mentioned Zaragoza, puffing on his joint as he spoke. “You do not know who you will discover. You may get robbed.”