A woman smokes at a 2017 march in favor of cannabis legalization. A woman smokes at a 2017 march in favor of cannabis legalization. Cuartoscuro

Don’t bother pot smokers, Oaxaca city officials tell local police

Government gives OK to smoking marijuana in public places

The use of marijuana for recreational purposes has not yet been legalized in Mexico, but pot smokers can find an oasis in Oaxaca city.

The city government has advised police not to bother people smoking weed in public places in the state capital.

In an official letter directed to members of the Plantón 4:20 – pro-marijuana protesters who have occupied the El Llano park in recent months – and cannabis consumers in general, the city government reiterated its commitment to respecting human rights and noted that there is no municipal law that expressly prohibits the “personal responsible consumption of cannabis in public spaces.”

The government acknowledged that the Supreme Court has ruled that laws prohibiting the use of marijuana are unconstitutional, but also recognized that the court argued there is a need to protect the rights of people who don’t want to be or shouldn’t be exposed to secondhand smoke, such as children and adolescents.

“In that sense, we call on consumers to avoid consuming cannabis in places where there are girls and boys or there is express disagreement from other people,” the April 13 letter said.

The letter from municipal authorities called on police to avoid bothering marijuana smokers, as long as the smokers are not bothering other members of the public.

“In addition, this municipal authority urges municipal police officers … to abstain from causing … trouble to consumers. In case of disagreement from a person in the same space, proceed only to ask consumers to move to another place,” it said.

The city government’s letter came in response to requests from Plantón 4:20 members and others that they be allowed to smoke marijuana in public without being criminalized.

Its publication coincided with the allocation of federal permits allowing 26 indigenous communities in Oaxaca to cultivate marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes has been legal in Mexico since 2017. The Supreme Court has directed Congress to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, but it has repeatedly missed deadlines to do so.

With reports from El Universal 

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