Mexican girl’s medical pot win raises hopes for others
MONTERREY, Mexico: Grace can finally sleep through the night without being awakened by one of her epileptic crises since the eight-year-old Mexican girl started taking cannabis-based medicine a month ago. Her parents have seen a marked improvement in their daughter’s conditions since she became the first person authorized to take medicinal marijuana in October.
“Her reaction has been very good. Since she took the medicine, we noticed that she could sleep all night,” her father, Raul Elizalde, said from the family’s home in an upper-class neighborhood of the northern industrial hub of Monterrey. “Her nocturnal epileptic crises have practically disappeared and she’s sleeping very well. This was the main change that we saw,” he said, as his wife fed Grace, who sat in a baby high chair, and her younger sister, Valentina in their living room.
Grace has become a symbol for those battling to break Mexico’s prohibitionist laws against marijuana in a country that has endured a decade of drug cartel violence.
The girl’s parents secured an exception to Mexico’s laws after they won a court battle in August, forcing health authorities to grant them the right to obtain cannabidiol (CBD), a therapeutic oil. It was a first victory for those advocating for legalization.
The Supreme Court issued a historic ruling on November 4 that opened the door to the legalization of marijuana by authorizing four people to grow and consume cannabis for their personal, recreational use. Days later, Senator Cristina Diaz, a member of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), introduced a measure that would allow imports and consumption of medical marijuana, saying it would benefit 5,000 Mexicans.
While President Enrique Pena Nieto has reiterated his opposition to legalization, he suggested that his government could change its mind depending on the outcome of a debate of experts in the coming months. Other countries in the region are moving faster. More than 20 US states authorize medical marijuana while Colombia said last week that it would do the same. Chile’s Congress is debating whether to legalize the drug while Uruguay has done so already. — AFP