Enrique de la Madrid backs marijuana legalization in major beach resorts

“I am convinced that we must discuss it, as part of the solution to the violence and insecurity in Mexico,” said Mexico's Secretary of Tourism
A person prepares a marijuana joint -Photo: Robert F. Bukaty/AP
27/01/2018
14:55
Newsroom & Agencies
Mexico City
Daina Beth Solomon/Reuters
-A +A

Marijuana should be legalized in two of Mexico’s main tourist hot spots, Cancún and Los Cabos, in order to reduce criminal violence, Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, Enrique de la Madrid, said on Thursday.

He said Mexico could follow the example of the United States and legalize marijuana in areas with support, urging Quintana Roo, where Cancún lies, and Baja California Sur, the home of Los Cabos, to move ahead with it.

“It’s absurd that we’re not taking this step as a country,” de la Madrid told reporters at a conference in Mexico City.

“Even if there’s work to do on the whole of the country, I’d like to see that it might be done in Baja California and Quintana Roo,” he added, describing the states as victims of a poor drug law.

Baja California and Quintana Roo have been two of the states hardest hit by a jump in gang violence in the country over the past year, helping to prompt verbal swipes from the U.S. President about how dangerous it is in Mexico.

On Twitter, Enrique de la Madrid later wrote in Spanish: I would like to emphasize that my opinion on the marijuana legalization is my own personal view, based on analysis and study of the subject for many years. I am convinced that we must discuss it, as part of the solution to the violence and insecurity in Mexico.”
 

It should be noted that President Enrique Peña Nieto has said the United States and Mexico should not pursue diverging policies on marijuana. In 2016, he proposed a bill to allow Mexicans to carry up to an ounce of marijuana, but the measure was stalled.

Carlos Mendoza, Governor of Baja California Sur, told local media that if the idea were adopted, it should be implemented in various areas popular with tourists.

“It seems foolish and illogical that we’re here fighting with a strategy that costs lives in Mexico and magically, crossing the border, marijuana becomes legal,” he said.

California this month became the sixth U.S. state to legalize the drug despite a federal ban.

Despite the trend toward legalization north of the border, cartels still make millions of dollars from smuggling marijuana into the United States. Mexico legalized marijuana use for medical and scientific needs in June.

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