Mexico Casually One-Ups U.S. By Legalizing Medicinal Marijuana

6/21/2017 Forbes

marijuana leafThis week, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto informed the world that his country is taking its relationship with cannabis to the next level.

In an official decree, Peña Nieto publicly confirmed Monday that his government has legalized medicinal cannabis, a.k.a. marijuana, with almost total support from Mexico’s congress and senate. The move marks a significant policy change for the country and the president, which finally came around on cannabis following national discussion and protest.

As the Independent reported, the bill passed with “overwhelming” support in Mexico’s Lower House of Congress in April, with 371 members voting in favor, and just 19 voting against or abstaining. In December, it also blazed through Mexico’s senate, managing 98 in favor and seven against.

In addition to spreading the news, the decree established that Mexico’s Ministry of Health will be responsible for drafting and implementing “public policies regulating the medicinal use of pharmacological derivatives of cannabis sativa, indica and Americana or marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol, its isomers and stereochemical variants, as well as how to regulate the research and national production of them.”

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Mexico takes drastic measures to halt rise of ‘super-obesity’

6/7/2017 Financial Times

Obese manJuan Pedro Franco, a 33-year-old Mexican, was so obese that no hospital had the facilities to see him. Bedridden for seven years, he reached a world record weight of nearly 600kg (1,320lbs).

Mr Franco suffered from diabetes, hypertension, lung problems and chronic swelling in his legs. He dropped 170kg simply to be able to undergo life-saving gastric surgery at a clinic in the western city of Guadalajara in May that had to widen its entrance and bring in stronger beds just to receive him.

He was a case of “super-obesity — off all the charts,” according to his surgeon José Antonio Castañeda, who sees an average of eight patients, mostly women, every day. “It’s a huge number, so you can see the scale of the problem in Mexico,” he says. Not all of those prospective patients are candidates for surgery but Dr Castañeda nonetheless performs 40 procedures a week.

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Mexican Journalist Loses Part of Ear in Attack

6/2/2017 New York Times

Journalist Armando Rodriguez murderMEXICO CITY — A journalist advocacy group is condemning an attack on a Mexican journalist that included cutting off part of his ear.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists says that an unidentified man attacked journalist Carlos Barrios as he left the office of the news website Aspectos in the Caribbean beach town of Playa del Carmen. The assault occurred Monday between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m.

Aspectos editor Eduardo Rascon told the committee that the man also threatened Barrios, telling him that if the outlet didn’t stop publishing stories supportive of Quintana Roo Gov. Carlos Joaquin that Rascon would be the next victim.

Six journalists have been killed in Mexico this year, prompting the federal government to promise do more to protect them.

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Slowing Climate Change ‘a Moral Imperative,’ Says Mexico

6/1/2017 New York Times

pena nieto wefMEXICO CITY — Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Thursday said his country was still fully committed to the Paris climate treaty, after U.S. President Donald Trump said the world’s No. 1 economy will pull out of the global pact to tackle climate change.

In a statement shortly after the Mexican president’s tweet, Mexico’s foreign and environmental ministries issued a joint statement, saying climate change is an “incontrovertible” fact that requires cooperation from all nations.

“Actions to put the brakes on climate change are a moral imperative,” the statement said.

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Mexico enlists dolphins to help endangered tiny porpoise

5/15/2017 Reuters

dolphinMexico’s government has enlisted the help of three trained dolphins to locate in the wild their less fortunate cousin, the rare vaquita porpoise, in an effort to bring back from the brink of extinction a species with fewer than 40 specimens left.

Populations of the vaquita, a tiny snub-nosed porpoise that lives in the Gulf of California, have dropped sharply in recent years because of gillnet fishing for shrimp and totoaba, a popular delicacy in Asia, causing increased international concern and pressure on Mexico.

The three dolphins “will be released in September in the Gulf and they will help us locate where the vaquitas are,” Mexico’s environment minister, Rafael Pacchiano, said on Monday.

Experts will then help capture the vaquita, which Pacchiano said numbered fewer than 40 in the wild, and transport them to a marine sanctuary that Mexico’s government is planning to establish in the Sea of Cortez. Once inside a penned-off area to ward off natural predators, the experts will help them reproduce.

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Source of Clean Energy? Wind Turbines Are Spilling Oil in Mexico

5/15/2017 Insurance Journal

energy -wind_energyWind turbines were planted along a strip of Mexico’s southern coast to make the country’s power industry cleaner. Now they’re spilling oil.

In the town of Juchitan last month, a clean-up was under way around a generator owned by Electricite de France. Workers wearing goggles and masks were scrubbing off a copper-colored lubricant that dripped down from the turbine. They’d wrapped cloth around its base, to absorb further leakage, and stuffed contaminated soil and stones into plastic trash-bags.

Flor, who owns the land where the turbine is sited and rents it to EDF, said she arrived on the scene after being alerted by a neighbor. “The stench was terrible, like a sort of burned fuel or ammonia,” she said, asking not to be identified by her surname out of concern over reprisals. “The trees were glistening with oil.” Similar problems have been reported all along the Tehuantepec isthmus, one of the western hemisphere’s windiest places.

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Mexico reports H7N3 bird flu outbreak on commercial farm: OIE

5/4/2017 Reuters

poultrychickensMexico has reported an outbreak of the highly contagious H7N3 bird flu virus on a commercial farm in the state of Jalisco, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Thursday, citing a report from Mexico’s agriculture ministry.

The virus, which does not pose a serious danger to people, was detected among laying hens in a flock of 15,000 birds that had been vaccinated and did not show any clinical signs of the disease, the Paris-based OIE said in a notification.

The farm, located in the town of Tepatitlan de Morelos, is under quarantine and the birds have been sent to a slaughterhouse near the site, it said.

Mexico’s agriculture sanitation authority, SENASICA, said the outbreak occurred in the same area where the virus was detected in 2012 and was discovered as part of a supervision program aimed at freeing the country of the disease.

Mexico is a major chicken exporter.

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