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ID: 1042

Type of submission: Oral

Conference track: Advocacy

Topics: Drug Policy Reform and Advocacy; Human Rights and Harm Reduction

Presenting author: Aram Barra

Presenting author biography:

Aram has a BA in international studies and an MPA and MPP from NYU and UCL. He has completed drug policy and human rights studies at the Central European University. For the past decade, he worked on drug policy reform and harm reduction, and also has worked on HIV & SRHR.

The litigation case that allowed medical marihuana in Mexico

Aram Barra, Andrés Aguinaco

In 2015, an injunction from a federal judge in Mexico allowed Grace Elizalde, an 8 year old suffering from Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, to receive a prescription for CBD-based oil and import the substance into the country. Grace became the first person to legally import a marihuana derived substance for medical purposes in Mexico. Ever since, the case has continued to move through the judicial power and will likely reach the Mexico Supreme Court by the end of 2016. It is expected that the case will draw the general lines around which a new nation-wide legislation of medical use of cannabis will be established.

This presentation will verse around the strategic framing of the case, as well as its main argumentation to establish itself as a human rights litigation case in Mexican law. Additionally, it will elaborate on how the case used the media to create favorability for drug policy reform in Mexico’s public opinion, moving public opinion around 20 points in favor of legal regulation for medical use of marihuana.

Lastly, the presentation will draw on some of the most discussed elements on the Congress of Mexico, and some of the plausible agreements around drug policy reform of cannabis in the years to come. With this last, offering the academic and activist circles with an insight of relevant policy discussions that may arise in other countries in the immediate future as drug policy reform continues to advance.