Political supporters of medical marijuana usage and increasing the decriminalization limits for possession in the State of Jalisco, Mexico, have organized a five day statewide survey. The survey focuses on two questions. Do you support marijuana usage for medical purposes, and do you support lifting the state limits on possession from 5 grams to 30 grams.
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The survey was scheduled to began on September 17 and continue through Sunday, September 21, however due to Hurricane Polo the survey was paused and will continue for one more day on Tuesday, September 23. Full results are expected to be released Wednesday, September 24.
So far, on the question of medical use, 3,165 approved medicinal marijuana versus 2,546 who opposed it in the referendum held Wednesday. On the question of increasing legal possession, 3,516 voted no, while 2,195 voted in favor.
Legislator Enrique Velazquez (PRD) will present the results to the state congress when completed to serve as a platform for debate on the subject.
PRD, Party of the Democratic Revolution, is a social democratic political party in Mexico and one of two Mexican affiliates of the Socialist International. The PRD is a member of the Broad Progressive Front alliance.
“We believe it is necessary for people to voice their opinion and to participate in the debate. With this referendum, we are trying out a model that has worked in other countries in resolving complex public issues,” says Velazquez.
The survey is not a referendum, as referendums are a general vote by the electorate on a single political question that has been referred to them for a direct decision. The survey allows individuals as young as 15 years old to participate, those who do not represent the electorate as legal voting age in Mexico is 18 years old.
“I realize that pharmaceuticals are based on herbs, but we are in the twenty-first century. There are better methods and medications without the undesired secondary effects,” says Jaime Agustin Gonzalez, Health Secretary of the State of Jalisco.
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”So I ask, how many grams does it take to make a marijuana joint? Two grams. So 30 grams is enough to make 15 joints. So is it alright if someone smokes 15 grams per day?” Gonzalez added.
The survey does not hold any legal binding; however it provides a screenshot of public opinion. State and Federal governments have debated the use of marijuana for a decade, the most recent survey in the State of Jalisco is considered a symbolic vote on an issue that has already been an ongoing discussion in Mexico politics and is not expected to lead to a change in laws.