Banning marijuana leads to criminalization: de la Fuente

The former dean of the National Autonomous University of Mexico disagrees with criminalizing marijuana users.

The book “Marijuana and health" compiled by Juan Ramón de la Fuente shows that alcohol is the substance that causes more individual and social damage. (Photo: Lucía Godínez / EL UNIVERSAL)
English 29/11/2015 11:47 Yanet Aguilar Sosa Actualizada 11:47
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Juan Ramón de la Fuente says that even though as a doctor he admits that using marijuana is not good for health, he does not agree with criminalizing those who use it.

"We can not continue to put in prison over 150,000 people, mostly youngsters, many of them women, who were not convicted for production or trafficking, but simply for drug possession. Two out of every three of them is in prison for marijuana possession," de la Fuente said.

According to De la Fuente “prohibitionism has very serious consequences, because it does not decrease consumption, neither makes the product less expensive and it creates underground markets managed by organized crime.” He added that prohibitionism leads to criminalization.

De la Fuente explained that cannabis has over 400 active substances, some of which have been chemically processed and have a pharmacological presentation, i.e. they come in drops, tablets, oil, that “can be prescribed for certain conditions."

He added that Mexico is ready to open the door to medical marijuana and it is not clear why health authorities have been so reluctant.

The book “Marihuana y salud” (Marijuana and health) compiled by de la Fuente shows that alcohol is the substance that causes more individual and social damage, followed by heroin and crack. Marijuana ranks seventh in a group of 20 psychoactive substances. It also states that no deaths from overdose of marijuana have been reported so far.

The book includes essays by Dení Álvarez Icaza, Rodolfo Rodríguez Carranza, Luciana Ramos Lira, Óscar Próspero García, Francisco Mesa Ríos, Gady Zabicky Sirot and Mario Melgar Adalid.

The former dean of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) explained that people who "smoke marijuana and have more than 5 grams with them” are treated as criminals and sentenced to a minimum of 9 months and a maximum of three years behind bars.

 

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