MEXICO CITY – Groups in favor of the personal use of marijuana maintain an impressive field in the vicinity of the Senate of the Republic, in the center of Mexico City, which now has more than 350 plants of up to 2.5 meters high.
The Mexican Cannabis Movement collective has been in Luis Pasteur Park, at the intersection of Paseo de la Reforma with Insurgentes Avenue, since Feb. 4, to demonstrate in favor of marijuana consumer rights.
“The main objective is to claim our rights,” Enrique Espinoza, a member of the group, told EFE on Thursday.
The activist said there are four demands of his movement: “non-profit cultivation, simple possession, being able to smoke in some public spaces free of risks and damages and, above all, decent treatment.”
He said that they seek to stop the criminalization and stigmatization of people who consume the plant either for medicinal purposes or for personal consumption.
The initiative arose last year after various groups in favor of cannabis consumption protested in the capital’s Zocalo to claim their rights and, having no response from the authorities, decided to start the plantation in a non-clandestine way.
“If they didn’t want to do it, we thought it was time to do it ourselves. And make history,” he said.
The plantation, known as Planton 420, started with 32 plants and now has about 350. The tallest and leafiest have been given names such as Maria Sabina or Tin Tan, in honor of the iconic Mexican comedian.
Although most of the plants were intentionally planted, some grew after protests in the vicinity of the Senate last year over cannabis legislation in the country.
During the demonstrations, some users threw marijuana seeds in the planters that make up the park, and the rain and soil conditions allowed more plants to grow.
Espinoza explained the space is open to people who want to find out about the benefits and uses of the plant, and also seeks to be a safe consumption area, although its sale is prohibited.
However, due to the restrictions derived from the coronavirus crisis, the capacity has been reduced and the use of masks and antibacterial gel is requested. Also, visitors who consume marijuana cannot stay more than 30 minutes.
In March, the Chamber of Senators discussed the approval of the creation of a marijuana regulation law, which would allow people to possess up to 28 grams, its use for medicinal purposes and decriminalizing planting.
The activist said that this law “is a model for the rich” that violates human rights and puts “the market” before personal consumption. In addition, he reiterated that the consumption of the plant does not make them “criminals” or “irresponsible.”