[WORLD NEWS ★★]
MEXICO SUPREME COURT THROWS OUT BAN ON MARIJUANA USE
(P1) Mexico’s Supreme Court has ruled that sections of the country’s health law are INVALID, therefore legalizing the growing, possession, and use of marijuana for RECREATIONAL purposes.
(P2) ACTIVISTS say the ruling PAVES THE WAY for Mexico to make history and end drug PROHIBITION, in spite of social STIGMAS, a deadly drug war, and strong opposition from politicians and the Catholic church.
(P3) The Supreme Court granted an INJUNCTION allowing four members of the Mexican Society for Responsible and Tolerant Self-Consumption (Smart) to grow, transport, and smoke marijuana.
(P4) In a 4-1 ruling, the court found that prohibitions on using marijuana VIOLATED the “right to the free development of personality” – and were therefore UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
(P5) “If these restrictions are unconstitutional for us, they should be unconstitutional for the entire population,” said Francisco Torres Landa, a lawyer and one of the four PLAINTIFFS in the case.
(P6) The move potentially puts Mexico at the FOREFRONT of an international movement to DECRIMINALIZE drugs – despite a decade-long CRACKDOWN on drug cartels which has cost the lives of around 100,000 people.
(P7) If the court rules the same way on five similar PETITIONS, it would then establish the PRECEDENT to change the law and allow general recreational use.
(P8) A similar process led to the court’s recent ruling that Mexican laws prohibiting same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.
(P9) Asked about the ruling president Enrique Peña Nieto told reporters that it “opens AMPLE space for a debate on marijuana.
(P10) “It’s not new. I’ve made statements previously of the need for a broad debate on the public policies concerning drugs.
(P11) “This ruling does not open or in any way signify the legalisation of marijuana consumption, nor the commercialisation, nor the transportation of it.”
(P12) Although Mexico has long been a major supplier of illegal NARCOTICS to the US, it had until recently not considered itself as a consumer of illegal drugs. Analysts say that started to change when CARTELS started paying UNDERLINGS with drugs.
(P13) But drug reform activists say that the use of drugs has little to do with the violence of illegal drug traffic.
(P14) A recent poll found that 77% of Mexicans are opposed to legalizing marijuana, with just 20% in favor.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- What is the legal status of marijuana in your country?
- Do you think marijuana is more like tobacco and alcohol, or more like HARD DRUGS?
- Mexico suffers greatly from crime and violence associated with drug trafficking. How should a country deal with these problems?
- The Mexican Supreme Court ruled that the country’s marijuana laws are unconstitutional. Does your country operate under a constitution or similar document?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Pave the way
- Hard drugs