Saturday, May 17, 2014

Survey: Mexicans remain overwhelmingly opposed to marijuana legalization, by a 70% margin

*Updated May 18*
Guadalajara -
A study commissioner by Mexico's lower federal legislative chamber, the Cámara de Diputados, has found that Mexicans remain firm in their opposition to the legalization of any drug, including marijuana, even as the nation carries on its 89 month old struggle against dozens of cartels and organized crime gangs which ship most of their products to consumers in the United States. Who is committed to the drug war?

Seven of every 10 respondents surveyed by the Centro de Estudios Sociales y de Opinión Pública (CESOP) said no when asked if cannabis should be legal, while two said it should be.

When asked to explain the basis for their opinions, 70% responded that legalization would encourage greater consumption, thus exacerbating drug dependency and addictions, while 7% said consumer demand would be reduced. Another 19% said there be be no change in drug consumption habits.

With specific reference to drug trafficking, 30% opined that legalization would help reduce it, while 62% said it would have no impact at all.

Marijuana legalization proposals are pending before the Federal District's (Mexico City's) legislature, and a handful of assemblies in the nation's 31 other states. Most respondents (85%) said they were aware that the issue was before legislators, and on that question their opposition to legalization was even more pronounced: 72% said bills decriminalizing cannabis should be rejected, while a scant 2% said they should be approved.

The latest study merely confirms what previous ones have revealed. In sharp contrast to the United States there is little national support for drug legalization in Mexico, even marijuana. In May 2013 president Peña Nieto said he is opposed to legalization as a quick fix for the country's security problems, and a November 2012 public opinion survey indicated that 79% of Mexicans agree. An August 2013 poll on Mexican attitudes towards marijuana legalization published by, a liberal media source, reported that 49.6% were opposed, while 13.4% were in favor.

Some drug war experts contend that decriminalization would merely fuel cartel rivalries, by enabling them to focus all their energies on eliminating competitors. In February Jalisco's chief prosecutor said he was "strongly against" legal cannabis, arguing it would turn the state into a center for drug tourism and increase crime. The prominent leader of Mexico's ultra-Left, a presidential candidate in 2006 and again in 2012, has also spoken out against marijuana legalization efforts in the Federal District.

Other CESOP survey results: 51% said they would tend not to rely upon anyone who regularly uses cannabis, while 72% expressed the same opinion about persons who consume more powerful drugs. Significantly, 73% said they supported the use of medical marijuana in cases where it has proven to have therapeutic (medicinal) value.

Almost half of the survey respondents (49%) said they know someone who smokes cannabis, while 8% admitted to having tried it.

May 3 - At Tijuana, Mexican army makes record cannabis seizure
Apr. 30 - Senior American military commanders call U.S. drug policy hypocritical, confusing
Apr. 6 - Vicente Fox: legalize drugs, and put Mexican traffickers in charge
Apr. 4 - DEA tells Congress, Mexican drug cartels hard at work in Colorado and Washington

Nov. 8 - Mexico's incoming PRI government pays little attention to U.S. cannabis legalization efforts
Sept. 26 - "Drug users are killing thousands of young people in the developing nations," Felipe Calderón tells United Nations

Dec. 7 - Mexicans dominate marijuana growing in U.S. - including in national parks, forests

© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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