Analysis of recreational use of cannabinoids in Mexico

One of the advantages is that Mexico recognizes cannabis as a medicine in the General Health Law. More scientific information is needed on its effects. To identify the harm caused by its prohibition in order not to violate human rights.

Analysis of recreational use of cannabinoids in Mexico
Some researchers suspend the study of cannabinoids due to the restrictions to grant authorizations. Photo by Richard T / Unsplash

Experts gathered at the 4/20 Seminar agreed that creating a perfect regulation that takes into account the best interests of minors and the right to health are the factors that are delaying the creation of a law that regulates the recreational use of cannabinoids in Mexico.

At the meeting, held in a hybrid format, by the Institute for Legal Research (IIJ) of the UNAM, El Colegio de México, and the National Institute for Public Health, Guillermo Kohn Espinosa, Secretary of Study and Account of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) detailed:

"It seems that the legislator is afraid to make decisions for being wrong, but the truth is that in this issue we are going to do it, and it will be little by little that better decisions will be made. Besides, there is important misinformation about the effects on health, whether it is the door to harder drugs or not, the truth is that there is still a lack of scientific information about the effects, but with the evidence, we have now we can destroy these myths and hopefully the legislator can move forward to new legislation".

In this academic activity, held at the IIJ's Aula Centenario and coordinated at UNAM by jurist Imer Benjamín Flores Mendoza, the participants reflected on the scientific evidence available on the regulation of cannabis and its derivatives, through the development and implementation of indicators, methodologies, and strategies to account for the regulatory process and its impacts, in addition to formulating alternative proposals to guide the determinations and facilitate access to verified information of the different actors of the population interested in the subject.

Geovanna Quiñonez Bastidas, a researcher at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa, explained that one of the major problems in generating data on the effects of consumption on the health of the population is that research requires authorizations beyond the institutes or universities since COFEPRIS must grant permission that usually goes beyond the time that scientists have.

"If we ask ourselves in Mexico where we stand, well, we have more doubts than answers and as researchers, most of us have many doubts on how to do research, especially because of the permits. We see restrictions and we review the General Health Law regarding sanitary control, for example, in order to carry out basic science you must submit the research protocol to COFEPRIS when it is regularly presented only to the institutions and from there there there are restrictions because it becomes tedious and we have many researchers who leave the subject aside because of the restrictions," she said.

The expert in pain chemistry emphasized that a key step to advance in the subject is to educate society because although the regulation talks about how to make medicinal use of this substance, most people consider that since it is a natural product it is innocuous, a common mistake and it is a task to emphasize to the population that it does not cure everything and that is why it is necessary to review the current rules and regulations.

Amaya Ordorika, from ReverdeSer Colectivo, stated: "We need to identify the damages caused by prohibition, the State violence implemented by cannabis prohibitionist laws, to guarantee the non-repetition of these human rights violations; to think about the reparation of the damage generated by prohibition and, finally, truth and memory campaigns. The Mexican State has promoted discrimination against users, against those of us who relate to the plant, lies about the effects of the plant, seeking to generate an inadequate perception".

The member of Plantón420, José Rivera, detailed part of the abuses of power committed by authorities of different entities of the Republic, especially in Oaxaca, against those who smoke marijuana cigarettes, qualifying them from traffickers to drug addicts, depriving them of their freedom and violating their human rights.

He recalled that part of the 4/20 celebration, which is held informally around the world, is that various governments and legislators do not want to regulate the issue, so the idea arose: "if they don't want to listen to us, they don't want to see us... now they are going to smell us".

Erick Ponce, director of ICAN Latam, explained that one of Mexico's great advantages is that, at least in the medical field, it has succeeded in recognizing cannabis as a medicine in the General Health Law, and he asked for greater support from the local industry interested in bringing medicines.