Mex­i­can girl’s med­i­cal pot win raises hopes for oth­ers

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

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

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