Newsbrief: Mexican Senate Panel to Look at Approving Medical Marijuana 9/20/02

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The Mexican Senate's Health Commission will meet next week to discuss modifying the country's General Health Law to allow "the controlled use of marijuana for therapeutic reasons," the Mexico City newspaper Cronica de Hoy reported Tuesday. Commission head Senator Elials Miguel Morena Brizuela told Cronica that he had drafted and will present a proposal to modify the law.

In an interview with the newspaper, Morena Brizuela, of the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) minced few words: "It is important and necessary that Mexico authorizes the use of cannabis for therapeutic reasons, above all for illnesses such as rheumatism, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, menstrual pain, Alzheimers, paraplegia, cancer and ills associated with AIDS," he said. He also suggested that marijuana could also be used for asthma, where it could relieve symptoms of asphyxia.

In addition to marijuana's medical uses, Morena Brizuela argued that allowing for medical use would remove medical users from the black market, where "the illegality of this substance eases the entrance of its habitual users into the circuit of illicit commerce, where it is easier to run into traffickers of real drugs."

Morena Brizuela told the newspaper his measure would benefit patients in severe pain by allowing them to acquire quality-controlled marijuana with a prescription. Prescriptions would be written only after "confirming that the drug is appropriate to treat a terminal illness, alleviate pain or suffering of the gravely ill, or in some cases to combat the diseases caused by multiple pathologies." His reform foresees moving marijuana to the government drug schedule that includes psychoactive drugs that have therapeutic value, he said.

Brizuela conceded that the move would spark controversy, but argued that marijuana is safe to use without serious health consequences and that it has legitimate medical uses. "Marijuana's toxicity is very low, it doesn't create addiction in normal doses, and it doesn't create serious health consequences after its use," he said. But marijuana is a drug that has created "great controversy within all modern societies," he said, adding that many in Mexico think of it as a gateway drug.

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Issue #255, 9/20/02 Editorial: Striking at the Heart of Democracy | Do You Read The Week Online? | California Medical Marijuana: Another Bust, Giveaways in Santa Cruz and San Diego, Mass Demo Set for Sacramento Monday | Ordeal of the Pain Doctors: Weitzel Facing Prison for Minor Records Violation, Still Anticipates Vindication in Manslaughter Case | Drug Czar on Anti-Marijuana Crusade -- Threatens Canada, Unleashes New Propaganda Offensive | Rep. Mink Introduces Bill to Reinstate Federal Parole -- Could Free Tens of Thousands If Passed | Swedish Drug War Hardliners Attempt to Block Anti-Prohibition Conference at European Parliament | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | Newsbrief: DC Medical Marijuana Initiative Yanked from Ballot | Newsbrief: Leahy Drops Support for RAVE Act | Newsbrief: Mexican Senate Panel to Look at Approving Medical Marijuana | MarijuanaInfo.org Votes/Polls Section Updated | Newsbrief: Sentencing Project Finds Most Drug Offenders Are Nonviolent, Minorities | Newsbrief: Illinois Governor Candidate Says He Smoked Pot -- Sort Of | Newsbrief: Waco Police Department Goes Easier on Applicants with Past Marijuana Use History | Web Scan: Arianna Huffington, Action America, Cultural Baggage, Bob Herbert, Mark Fiore | Errata: New York Marijuana Reform Party | The Reformer's Calendar
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