Thursday, September 3, 2015

And now for some irony

Mexico introduced the United States to marijuana. The practice of smoking it appeared in Texas border towns around 1900. It was brought by Mexican immigrants who cultivated cannabis as an intoxicant and for medicinal purposes as they had done at home.
Within 15 years or so, it was plentiful along the Texas border and was advertised openly at grocery markets and drugstores, some of which shipped small packets by mail to customers in other states. The law enforcement view of marijuana was indelibly shaped by the fact that it was initially connected to brown people from Mexico and subsequently with black and poor communities in this country. Police in Texas border towns demonized the plant in racial terms as the drug of “immoral” populations who were promptly labeled “fiends.” [New York Times, July 2014]
But today Mexico bans its use more strictly than the United States does (some background on that in an August 2014 post of mine here). The parents of Graciella Elizalde, 8, who suffers from Lennox Gastaut (that's C.'s epilepsy diagnosis too - the only diagnosis we have ever gotten), were denied access to the drug by Mexico's secretary of health who argued:
"that there was no conclusive evidence that cannabidiol was safe or effective in treating epilepsy." 
Graciella in the Washington Post: She's having a seizure.
My daughter C. looks almost identical when she seizes.
After a protracted fight to obtain the drug, those parents finally won a  special federal judge's order overruling the government's decision.

As reported in the Washington Post:
"With the exception of more liberal Mexico City, public opinion in this socially conservative country falls strongly against legalization. Tens of thousands of Mexicans have died in the country’s war with its drug-trafficking gangs, a toll that hasn’t weakened the government’s policy."
Since it is still illegal to transport cannabis from one state to another and across most foreign borders, the Elizaldres still face hurdles. It remains to be seen whether the Mexican government will appeal in order to enable the importation (as Brazil has already done).

If so, Grace would be the first person to legally use marijuana in Mexico - and might enjoy some relief from her hourly seizures.

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