Things That Matter

Mexico’s Progressive Bill Legalizing Cannabis Stalled Again Because Of Pandemic

There has been a global movement to legalize cannabis beyond medicinal usage. Advocates are pushing to recreational use as well as opening up government money to allow for research into marijuana and hemp. Some states in the U.S. have legalized recreational marijuana including California and Illinois. Mexico keeps getting closer and closer to eventually passing a bill to legalize marijuana.

Mexico missed another deadline to pass a bill legalizing marijuana.

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Mexican officials were making progress on a new bill that would legalize cannabis across the country regardless of THC levels. This means both marijuana and hemp would be legal in the Latin American country bordering the U.S. The move would mean that the U.S. would be the lone country in the North American bloc without federal legalization of marijuana.

Uruguay was the first country in the world to legalize marijuana.

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Uruguay legalized marijuana in 2017 becoming pioneers in the legal and social experiments surrounding cannabis legalization. Most notably, businesses had to figure out how to make money from the sale of cannabis while adhering to international banking regulations that make it illegal to handle money made from selling drugs. Several pharmacies in the country that were selling marijuana were told to stop selling the product or close their accounts.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s political party is behind the bill fighting for legalization.

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In 2018, the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) wrote legislation to legalize marijuana. The motion, submitted by Senator Olga Sánchez Cordero, calls out the prohibition of marijuana and how it leads to the violence Mexico has experienced.

“Today, the nation has taken the decision to change,” Sen. Sánchez Cordero told her colleagues the day the motion was filed. “We don’t want more deaths. It will be a major contribution to bringing peace to our beloved country.”

AMLO has since come out against the legalization of marijuana.

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“We are analyzing everything that will help ensure that there is no violence, that consumption does not increase, and that at the same time medical attention is guaranteed to those who require it,” AMLO said during a presidential conference.

COVID-19 has put a stop to the bill for now but it isn’t done yet.

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The March legislation session was canceled because of the pandemic meaning that they will miss the April 30 deadline to pass the bill. The next legislative session is from Sept. 1 to Dec. 15. Even if the bill is passed then, it could take years for Mexico to set up the appropriate systems to regulate and sell marijuana.

READ: A Man Spent A Month In Jail After Feds Thought He Was Carrying 3,000 pounds of ‘Marijuana,’ Lab Results Showed It Was Hemp

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Mexican President Criticizes DEA For Role In Former Army Chief’s Arrest

Things That Matter

Mexican President Criticizes DEA For Role In Former Army Chief’s Arrest

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President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized the historic role of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Mexico after a former Mexican army chief was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles on drug charges at the request of the DEA.

The former Mexican Defense Minister was arrested by the DEA on drug charges.

Salvador Cienfuegos Zepedas was the secretary of National Defense in the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto from 2012 to 2018. President Lopez Obrador claims that the arrest is proof of corruption from past governments.

President Lopez Obrador used the arrest to criticize the U.S. government and the DEA.

President Lopez Obrador, speaking at a press conference in Oaxaca, claimed that there is a double standard. While Cienfuegos Zepedas has been arrested by the DEA, the president claims U.S. officials have not been held accountable for trafficking arms into Mexico to track them to the cartels. According to the president, Mexican officials are being held at a higher and harsher standard than U.S. officials.

“Why is it that it’s just the people in Mexico who took part in these acts being accused or implicated, and (the DEA) aren’t criticizing themselves, reflecting on the meddling by all these agencies in Mexico,” Lopez Obrador said at the press conference. “They came into the country with complete freedom, they did whatever they wanted.”

The former defense minister’s arrest sent shockwaves through Mexico.

Cienfuegos Zepedas was the first high-ranking Mexican military official to be arrested in the U.S. with drug-related corruption. He was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport and will be facing drug and money-laundering charges. It’s been less than a year since Genaro Garcia Luna was charged with taking bribes from the Sinaloa drug cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

President Lopez Obrador wants to protect the military’s reputation.

Lopez Obrador also said he hopes that the armed forces aren’t blamed for this scandal and that Mexico must take care of institutions as important as the Secretary of National Defense. Mexico does not currently have an ongoing investigation of the retired general and will await the result of the U.S. investigation, according to the president of Mexico. 

Cienfuegos Zepedas is due to make a court appearance related to four charges in California on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.

READ: This Is What Mexico’s AMLO Wants From The Pope For The Churches Crimes Against Indigenous Mexicans

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Showtime’s ‘Bad Hombres’ Is A Documentary Highlighting The World’s Only Binational Baseball Team

Entertainment

Showtime’s ‘Bad Hombres’ Is A Documentary Highlighting The World’s Only Binational Baseball Team

tecolotes_2_laredos / Instagram

Sports have a way of bringing people together. The experience of rooting for your team is a unifying feeling that transcends borders and culture. Showtime is exploring the importance of sports through the lens of the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos.

“Bad Hombres” is a documentary highlighting immigration under President Trump through baseball.

Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos are the only binational professional baseball team in the world. The team splits their home games between stadiums in Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Director Andrew Glazer wanted to highlight the immigration issue through a sports lens to offer a different layer to the narrative.

“Most of the people trying to come into the U.S. are families and children trying to escape horrible violence in Central America,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “That story has been told, so what I wanted to do was show people in a way that I thought would be relatable to what life is like on the border. What life is like on those two sides and how interconnected they are. The thing that struck me to be honest is that initially in Laredo, Texas was how pervasive Spanish is spoken.”

The documentary shows the struggles of the baseball team trying to make sense of the volatile U.S.-Mexico border relations.

The Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos split time playing their home games between two stadiums in the U.S. and Mexico. The Trump administration’s constant battle with Mexico and threats to close the border put the team’s season in jeopardy. A first look teaser shows team managers trying to coordinate the release of game tickets in time with the ever-changing immigration announcements from the Trump administration.

“Bad Hombres” speaks politics without directly addressing politics.

“Even though my film has an overarching political message, the players are not covertly or overtly political in any way,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “They are baseball players and they are living their lives and a lot of them are trying to make it to the majors and some of them were in the majors and are now finishing their careers. There wasn’t a whole lot of political discussions.”

Glazer made sure to highlight the depths and complexities of the team members dealing with the political climate without politics.

“Inherently, what made the team fascinating is you had players from the U.S. who were Anglo-American players and Mexican American players who had a different perspective,” Glazer told DJ Sixsmith. “Then you had Mexican players and some Dominican players and Cuban and people from everywhere else. There were different languages and different perspectives. Seeing how that developed over time was pretty fascinating.”

“Bad Hombres” is streaming on Showtime.

READ: Veronica Alvarez Is The Coach For The Oakland A’s And Her Presence Is Giving Girls A Chance To Pursue Baseball

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