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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Mexico Protects Ancient Temple While Hotel Is Built Above

6/7/2017 New York Times

582px-Aztec_Warriors_(Florentine_Codex)MEXICO CITY — Plans to expand a hotel in Mexico City have been put on hold after archaeologists unearthed a 1400s-era temple to the Aztec wind god Ehecatl and a ceremonial ball court under the property.

The find could spark nightmares for any squeamish hotel guests: The carefully severed neck bones of 32 people were found in a ceremonial pit next to the ball court.

The find announced Wednesday by archaeologist Eduardo Matos was made in excavations done in 2009-2016. Matos, of the National Institute of Anthropology and History, noted that the hotel owns the property and will be allowed to build above the ruins once the dig is completed.

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Mexico’s Fiery Populist May Need to Tone It Down to Win in 2018

6/6/2017 Bloomberg

AMLOFor Mexican presidential front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Sunday’s election must have been bittersweet.

The movement he founded just three years ago came close to unseating the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party in its heartland: President Enrique Pena Nieto’s home state of Mexico.

Yet coming up three percentage points short left Lopez Obrador’s Morena party with none of the nation’s 31 governor’s offices and no access to potential funding that such power provides for national campaigns. Under such conditions, if Lopez Obrador is going to win the presidency next July, tapping into voter outrage at graft, crime and Donald Trump won’t be enough. He’ll need to broaden his appeal and curtail his threats against an establishment that he condemns as the “mafia of power.”

“To do that, he would need to change his entire style of the past 15 to 20 years,” said Jorge Chabat, a political scientist at the Center for Economic Research and Teaching, a Mexico City-based university. “When your speech is extremely confrontational, it’s difficult to expand your support beyond your close circle of ‘true believers.’ And that’s what you need to win.”

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Women Will Be Voting for Their Lives in the State of Mexico

6/1/2017 Bloomberg

HONDURAS-WOMEN-DISCRIMINATION-MARCHA local election in Mexico is shedding light on a war that has gone under-reported and often undocumented and unnoticed in the Latin American country for years. The daily murder of women as a show of male power, known as femicide.

Overshadowed by the war on drugs, the murders that may number six a day, have been so ignored by the authorities that there are few reliable figures, poor legislation and even disputes over what classifies as femicide. What is clear, say local NGOs, is that the murder rate is increasing.

Now, voters in the regional state of Mexico are forcing politicians to recognize the problem and take action. In the last year, tens of thousands of women have taken to the streets to demand greater protection from the state. In response, the candidates in the June 4 election are offering to train prosecutors on gender equality and open a special agency to support the victims’ families. It seems the minimum the authorities could do, but it is a start.

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Leftists ahead in tight race for Mexican state vote, Reforma poll shows

5/31/2017 Reuters

Mexican politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador,  leader of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) gestures as he addresses the audience during a meeting at Plaza Zaragoza in Monterrey, Mexico
Mexican politician Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, leader of the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) gestures as he addresses the audience during a meeting at Plaza Zaragoza in Monterrey, Mexico February 25, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

The party of presidential hopeful Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador held a slight lead in a race to strip control of Mexico’s most populous state from the party that has ruled it for nearly nine decades, a poll in the Reforma newspaper showed on Wednesday.

The candidate for the leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) had the support of 31.9 percent of people interviewed in the Reforma national daily ahead of Sunday’s vote in the State of Mexico, while the candidate for the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) had the support of 30.7 percent.

The poll was conducted through 1,200 interviews at home between May 24 and May 29 and has a 3.2 percent margin of error.

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Mexico Gets 1st Female Indigenous Presidential Candidate

5/28/2017 New York Times

Victor Camacho/La Jornada

MEXICO CITY — A council of Mexican indigenous groups backed by the Zapatista rebels on Sunday selected a Nahua woman as the country’s first indigenous female presidential candidate.

The Indigenous Governance Council picked Maria de Jesus Patricio to run in the 2018 election, issuing a statement saying that “we will seek to put her name on the ballot.” Because the council is not a registered political party, it may need signatures to get Patricio on the ballot.

The council called for an “anti-capitalist and honest” government. “We don’t seek to administer power; we seek to dismantle it,” it said.

Local media described Patricio as a traditional healer from the western state of Jalisco.

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