Mexico mayor: To beat opium farming, legalize it

opium_poppy_field_-_mexico3/18/2016 CBS News

MEXICO CITY — The governor of one of Mexico’s most violent states is making waves by proposing that impoverished farmers be allowed to grow opium poppies for legal medical use.

Guerrero state is among Mexico’s poorest, and many remote mountain communities already grow small plots of poppies, which are bought by drug cartels that have fought violent turf battles throughout the Pacific coast state.

It has become the biggest opium-producing state in Mexico, supplying about half the heroin used in the United States.

Guerrero Gov. Hector Astudillo suggested this week that farmers be allowed to produce opium for legal medical use.

Astudillo, a member of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, later said his comments were more thinking-out-loud than a concrete proposal.

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