AMERICA/MEXICO - "The legalization of a drug means turning away and ignoring the real needs of society" say the Bishops

Monday, 23 November 2020 drugs   drug trade   social situation   coronavirus   episcopal conferences   youth   family   healthcare   school   politics  


Mexico City (Agenzia Fides) - " This legislative initiative does not address the damage to health caused by increased use of cannabis, nor does it address the effects on the families of young people who use drugs, nor does it help to inhibit or reduce the exposure to drugs. We see that these state policies are sending a signal that they ignore the weak and neglect those who should be best protected. The legalization of a drug, be it one or another, means turning away and ignoring the real needs of society, especially in the current context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the economic crisis and the security crisis", write the Bishops' Conference of Mexico in a note sent to Agenzia Fides.
On November 19, the Mexican Senate passed a law that largely legalized the "recreational use" and marketing of cannabis in the country. Next, the legislative initiative will be examined by the Chamber of Deputies. In a statement published yesterday, November 22nd, the Mexican Bishops' Conference expressed its concern that "there was a lack of pluralistic public debate and that experts on this subject in particular were not heard".
"With regard to the so-called recreational use of marijuana and other psychoactive products made from cannabis, health care workers and people who have consumed such substances testify that their use in all amounts and compositions considerably reduces control over one's own actions and thus puts the consumer in serious danger for himself and for others".
Although there are supposed to be restrictions on use and production, the bishops' declaration underlines that "the problem is not to lay down rules and conditions for the use of marijuana", but that the well-being of our fellow human beings and our own well-being is no longer a concern. "A health promotion and protection policy is being abandoned to satisfy the interests of a few. Health and the common good are no longer a priority and give way to people's pleasure, even if they could harm others. The irresponsible claims of a few to freedom are more important than the general good of health". These facts call into question the criteria that guide authorities in addressing issues that imply a balance between the freedom of the individual and the responsibility we have in society. "Now we are talking about cannabis, tomorrow there will be other issues where few can affect the well-being of all".
The Bishops urge all Mexicans, and especially young people, "to take a position of responsibility in the face of the consequences that this possible legalization entails", and to reflect on the impact of their choices on other areas of human life and society.
In their communiqué they then exhort those responsible for education and health of state and church structures, "to offer information campaigns on addictions and the consequences of narcotics in order to promote responsible behavior". Finally, they invite the faithful and society in general, "to actively participate and collaborate with lawmakers, to find real solutions to the real problems underlying the complex drug problem, the effects of which extend beyond our borders". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 23/11/2020)


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