Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, July 9, 2018

AMLO: Legal Poppy Production for Pharmacueticals

Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from: TeleSur

June 9, 2018
Part 2, below from Milenio

Mexico's president-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is open to the idea of selling opium for pharmaceutical use, a senior aide said on Wednesday.

The move would be a sign of the deep changes the next government is considering over the U.S.-led ''war on drugs'' approach.

"Why not sell it to pharmaceutical companies?" said Olga Sanchez Cordero, a former Supreme Court judge who is the incoming president's pick to run the Interior Ministry.

She said the next president, a 64-year-old former mayor of Mexico City, supported a public consultation on the possibility of regulating opium and decriminalizing marijuana.

Sanchez said the newcomers were also exploring decriminalizing marijuana for recreational use, saying it no longer made sense for Mexican authorities to engage in a violent struggle against the drug when Canada and several U.S. states have already adopted more lenient policies.

                                        Lisa Sanchez                    Olga Sanchez Cordero

"What are we thinking? Tell me.  We are killing ourselves. Really, why keep on killing when most of North America is decriminalizing?" she told  "W Radio".

Sanchez said any such move would be in parallel to rehabilitation programs and strict punishments for anyone selling drugs to children.

To legally grow and export opium poppies for painkillers, Mexico first would need authorization from the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), a United Nations body.

Lopez Obrador, who takes office in December, upturned Mexico's political status quo in the July 1 election with more than half the country voting for him. His coalition will have a majority in Congress, projections show, ending 89 years of rule by just two parties.

He did not take a clear stance on decriminalizing drugs before the election, but says he will try out new approaches to tackling Mexico's violence, including possible amnesty for some cartel employees.

In Mexico, the battle for control of heroin production and trafficking is held partly responsible for the country's record levels of violence, which involved nearly 30,000 murders last year.

Regulation of opium poppy farming for morphine production is a model used in Turkey and India, among other countries.

Lisa Sánchez , director of the civil association United Mexico Against the Crime (MUCD), applauded that the ex- member of the Supreme Court,  Olga Sanchez Cordero, who has spoken out in favor of the legalization of the planting, harvesting and recreational use of the marijuana . 

In an interview with Carlos Puig for Milenio Television , Lisa Sánchez stressed that Sánchez Cordero "is someone who understands the subject, who has the evidence, and who proposes it in conjunction with other actions", among which is:  "a transitional justice plan plus an amnesty plan . " 

The director of MUCD considers that the amnesty proposed by López Obrador during his campaign- and legalization of marijuana should go hand in hand.   

"They have to go together, because an amnesty without a regulatory change of an illicit economy the size of drugs is doomed to fail, " said Lisa Sanchez .

"If you make an amnesty for the growers, for the producers , even for those small merchants who are  victims of the "cam" (when the organized crime groups forcibly recruits growers), they could access certain benefits, to certain amnesties, but if you do not remove that incentive of illegality from those markets, those amnesties will hardly work, " she stressed. 

The proposal of Sánchez Cordero: 

Proposed by López Obrador as his Secretary of the Interior, Sánchez Cordero told AFP in June that, if the standard-bearer of Morena won the elections, she would seek the decriminalization of marijuana for its use and work through " transitional justice ", a series of special legal mechanisms that can be activated after systematic violations of human rights in a country.

Here part of the interview she gave to the AFP:

-How is the amnesty going to work for perpetrators of crimes?

I am thinking of a law with reduction of sentences for informants that will lead us to true and accurate information, collated, such as the locations of some of the disappeared.

I believe that there will be no material or human or economic resources that we can allocate to the location of the disappeared, which in the black figure could be many.

-Who would you include the amnesty?

To the victims of forced labor. (organized crime groups forcibly recruit growers). There are many many young people  and if they do not  accept the forced labor they just kill them. Either they go with them and do their bidding or they kill them and/or  disappear them.

We have a generation of young people who are the disappeared, especially young men, disappeared, most of them from 15 to 21 years old. We have had at least 18 years of losing a generation of young people. We can not continue like this.

- How do you convince a tempted boy to walk away from  the easy money of a life of crime?

We are going to offer him school, a culture of peace, to lay down his arms.  It should suit him to have another future, that his immediate future may be to want to have a Hummer , but that  immediate future  does not end there.

-There are areas such as the Sierra de Guerrero where people devote themselves to poppies and complain that there is no other industry to work in.

We have to start thinking about the decriminalization of drugs. So it goes. In an over all policy of decriminalization of drugs. Obviously starting with marijuana.

-Only the marijuana ?

Marijuana for recreational use and the derivitives.  I'm going to propose to Andrés Manuel at the time, the decriminalization of marijuana in planting, harvesting, transport , medicinal and recreational use.

In terms of the poppy, it is convenient as Afghanistan has done. Opiates are  highly valued for pharmaceuticals and for medicinal use as legal drugs especially in trauma cases and compassionate end of life care.


  1. I think its a great idea. I only hope AMLO is protected well because he is rocking the boat and many in the "war on drugs" are so heavily invested in the supression mentality that they have a hissy fit whenever decrim/legal pathways to drugs are suggested.

  2. Opiate laws in Mexico are just freaking ridiculous for patients.
    You need a special script to get them(with a bar code that carries the info directly to SEDENA) and they are really uptight (forget getting vicodin for broken bones unless you cut a leg).
    Tho they don't have any problems selling benzos like rivotril with little control in any farmacy. I don't get it lol.
    Since there's people (mid age wives) really addicted to benzos yet you mention you do opiates they get in shock. I'll say Latin America in general has no junkies beside cocaine and most recently meth. I guess they rather party than nods out or they haven't really tasted the good stuff... Yet


  4. Excellent idea... I agree this would totally eradicate a lot of the violence in Mexico.

  5. Legalize the poppy, with falling prices due to fent, and you just take the farms back from control or ownership of the narcos, I don't think so. That idea doesn't stand a chance. If you subsidize the farmers, the narcos are the middle or on top of it. Wishful thinking amlo

    1. The Chinese emperor lost his tax revenue because everybody was and opium addict IN THE 1700's that is what he got from befriending the british, then when the Chinese tried to get rid of the dirty business the British asserted their Christian Democracy by blockading ports and shelling cities until MAO took power and title to the whole of China except for Hong Kong and Taiwan.
      Mexico may lose an Arm and a Leg over this legalizing drug production for poor farmers that many coyotes will exploit paying low prices, but may not murder them, exploitation OK
      Murdering or imprisoning small farmers not OK,
      --but AMLO offers sentence reductions for snitches that help put the big dogs in prison and more reasonable sentencing convicts in a more peaceful environment with crime victim input that would release resources and help keep the military ("who nobody wants to offend") off the street.
      AMLO also offers to send the Estado Mayor Presidencial back to work where they belong in the military, not making intrigue in the palace from behind the president's petticoats.

  6. I sincerely pray AMLO's idealistic platform works even 1/2 way.
    IMHO, His ideas for "rehab" won't work unless gainful employment in socially and psychologically rewarding careers is provided on a massive national scale. Drug addicts and crime addicts (yes there are these sociopaths everywhere) will play the "rehab" game to their advantage.... and some will benefit as intended. But with the addictive allure of vice, crime,and drugs many will relapse to their deviant lifestyles.

    Most lay people don't realize how powerful the culture of crime and violence is. As suggested by narcocorridos and lifestyle artifacts (guns, sex, jewery, clothes, vehicles, and partying, killing, drug dealing, whoring, scamming, and many other acts within the Mexican deviant cultures are now well ingrained in the Mexico.
    How do you shut down the great allure to crime and deviant lifestyles? With "Rehab" programs? What does AMLO have in store for the legions of youths and adults who are addicted to the deviant and criminal lifestyles?
    God, I hope AMLO has answers to my concerns.

    1. Work brigades help efficiently when left to the managers,
      Some world leaders including the US LOOOOVE BIG TIME the way other authoritarians' people sit straight, praise their beloved dear leaders and thank them for their prison sentences for stealing a little seashell from "The People's Beaches", and they must take their whole families to prison to work off their 20 year sentence.
      I don't need to tell you The Democratic People's Republics model is on its way to be implanted on the US,
      --"people do not move their eyes from their work",
      said one American presidential wannabe impressed by the show.

  7. Beautiful in depth approach to tackling an epidemic of violence. America provides funds and resources for protecting people in Afghanistan's poppies fields. Moreover, reimbursement for those affected crops.
    The Trade documentary exemplifies the dire situation in Mexico. Where lack of employment opportunities and demand for the poppy is economically beneficial.
    The legalization of poppy growers with pharmaceutical companies for medical purposes sounds logical.
    Pharmaceutical companies have engulfed America's opioid epidemic / addiction through their abusive sales and distribution tactics. It's only now due to investigative reporting that pharmaceuticals are being held accountable. Note: an accountability for better management for these products. A small step for Americans against the ruthless greedy pharmaceutical companies. Nevertheless, a step in the right direction.
    AMLOs directive approach to legalize the poppy for medical purposes is actually a step in the right direction. America should not be their problem not concern if Americans want to abuse them.

    No different from alcohol or cigarettes which are abused by millions everywhere!


  8. I think that this is a very good idea. There is of course the problem with the new mixtures of chemicals that are far stronger than the traditional cocaine and heroin, so it remains to be seen, how this will effect the market

  9. El triángulo dorado sigue ganando!

  10. If the price of “drugs” drops dramatically, how will those who would no longer make billions of dollars react? Are the Cartels willing to have Walmart sell coke for 30 dollars a pound instead of 5k? The drug industry would stop? The crimimals would become farmers? Let’s see what happens when someone only responsible for talking suddenly is responsiable for true actions.

  11. Totally idealistic, utopian. If you can't control areas now, how do you control them in future for the hapless farmers. No way, security and no impunity now is the warrant of the state. The farmers need face to face, without cholos in the middle. Another socialist idea, who's roots are deep into the seduction of an idea and not realism of the moment. Good luck AMLO, elected for change while rampant violence and insecurity is increasing in scale. Help the farmers w/o the subsidy. Social programs only lead to homogenization of the people, and the people in charge (narcos!) won't stand for it! Give the people hope! manufacturing, production jobs, where income would increase, hard work rewarded but Mexico has to provide the security for business from extortion. They are not doing that now - education and hope is the best remedy, not accommodation with the current status quo. Long live the agricultures!!. F** the damned!

  12. 9:26 wages have NEVER been a part of mexicans' benefit programs,
    But on a clear day you can see you must be muuuy chingón to be paid honest wages, or be a pinchi rata de dos patas and steal the government budget for old people and kids with cancer.

  13. Chivis ganaba my poco cuando andaba de Tlachiquera,
    no sacaba ni pa la aguamiel.
    Look: recetas para hacer Huachicol, or Tepache,
    and forget about these pinches cacas del narco for a second.

  14. Oh look the Cartel Puppet putting into place what his masters want done.


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