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Cannabis and Narcotics for Medicinal Use in Mexico

Representatives of Olivares, one of the leading law firms in Mexico, explain the evolving status of cannabis and narcotics for medicinal use in the country. A new Bill authorizing the use of cannabis for medical treatments was passed by the Senate in December 2016, but there is still a long way to go before it, and other narcotics, are widely accepted by the Mexican government and society for medicinal use.

Cannabis and Narcotics for Medicinal use still have an uncertain status in Mexico. Regarding the medicinal use of cannabis there is still debate since the Mexican General Health Law still contains a provision that forbids activities and conduct in Mexico related to cannabis and its derivatives; with respect with other narcotics, there is also a prohibition within our Health Law. However, there are some precedents introducing the medicinal use of cannabis, and for other narcotics there are some approvals granted with our current legislation which have been in force for many years now.

The prohibition stablished in the Health Law mainly forbids plantation, cultivation, harvesting, elaboration, preparation, conditioning, acquisition, possession, trade, transportation in any form, prescription, supply, employment, use, consumption and, in general, any act related with narcotics or any products that contains them. The Health Law specifically prohibits prepared opium, for smoking, diacetylmorphine or heroin, its salts and preparations, cannabis sativa, indica and american or marijuana or opium poppy papaver somniferum, papaver bactreatum and erythroxilon novogratense or cocaine, in any form, derivatives or preparations. Additionally, the Health Law establishes a list of narcotics for which approval is under the discretion of the Ministry of Health until they can be replaced in their therapeutic uses by other elements that, in their opinion, do not create dependency.

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