Mexico’s President-elect

, Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that he would consider legalizing certain drugs as part of a broader strategy to fight poverty and crime.

López Obrador

said that a recent proposal from the country’s Defense Minister , who backs the legalization of opium for medicinal use, was important and that he would not rule it out.

“What he proposed is important,” López Obrador said. “There should be a comprehensive approach to the terrible problem of insecurity and violence.”

López Obrador

, who takes office on December 1, said that he would also look at paying farmers more for their corn, as a way to discourage them from planting poppy seeds .

Since 2006, Mexico has been mired in a military-led battle against drug cartels, which have now splintered into smaller groups that fight for trafficking routes and territory to sell drugs . Homicides hit record numbers in 2017, data from the INEGI shows.

The President-elect has held town-hall forums on violence and to discuss a potential “ amnesty ” for non-violent drug traffickers and farmers. Members of his team have previously said Mexico would evaluate creating legal markets for marijuana and opium .

In this regard, Olga Sánchez Cordero, the future Internal Affairs Minister , said she is working with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to legalize opium for medicinal and therapeutic use, and said that its use would allow “the terminally ill to have a dignified death”.

She also emphasized that López Obrador wants to legalize the medicinal and recreational use of marihuana, as he considers it as a public health issue that has to be faced.


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