The UN reminded the country that it is a signatory to international treaties that provide that marijuana can only be marketed for medical reasons.
The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), reminded Mexico that it is a signatory of international treaties that contemplate that marijuana can only be marketed for reasons doctors.
“We hope that the Mexican Congress will take these factors into account and have a law (on cannabis use) that complies with international agreements,” Raúl Martínez del Campo, an independent expert member of INCB, told EFE.
Following a mandate from the Supreme Court of Justice, the Mexican Congress is processing a law to regulate the recreational use of marijuana in the country, which seeks to create a legal cannabis market and combat the crisis due to drug trafficking.
The INCB, in charge of compliance with the anti-drug treaties, published this Thursday its annual report on narcotic drugs in which it declares “concerned about the legislative developments in several countries regarding the non-medical use of cannabis”, including Mexico.
Martínez del Campo explained to Efe that the INCB is “very sensitive” regarding the situation of violence suffered by Mexico as a result of the “war on drugs” and claimed that “marijuana users should not be criminalized”.
But he also recalled that Mexico is a signatory to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which establishes that cannabis can only be used for “medical or scientific” purposes.
He said that INCB will maintain “a constant dialogue” with the Mexican authorities and assured that the executive director of UNODC, Yury Fedotov, intends to visit Mexico as soon as the pandemic allows it.
Drugs and the pandemic
Martínez del Campo, in charge of presenting the report of the Vienna-based body to the Mexican media, pointed out that this year the INCB wanted to alert member states about the increase in drug use in older adults.
In 2009, there were one million drug users over the age of 65 in the United States, compared to 11 million today.
The organism attributes this to the aging of the generation of “baby boomers”, who in their adolescence “had more access to cannabis and other drugs “, as well as to the consumption of medications for pain or depression.
The INCB asked governments to study this “invisible” problem further to address the issue, since older adults are more likely to be “stigmatized”.
Martínez del Campo also said that with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, “a drastic change in drugs associated with nightlife was detected,” since the consumption of ecstasy fell a lot and that of alcohol and marijuana rose.
It also increased the trade of substances through social networks and the deep internet, and distribution through postal services.
Finally, INCB highlighted “an increase in the presence of fentanyl in Mexican territory.”
However, Martínez del Campo celebrated that the Mexican authorities “have been able to better search and document” the trade in this synthetic opioid, which the Mexican cartels use to sell in the United States mixed with heroin.