Republished with permission from Microdose.
Marijuana Measures Fall Short of Providing Free Development of Personality
The crux of Rivera and his team’s demands are simple: to ensure the right to freely develop one’s personality, on equal terms as tobacco and alcohol. To do that, you need to end prohibition and discrimination in the system. . In my interview with him, Rivera describes how the lack of free homegrown cultivation suggests these new laws are meant to support a big business instead of all of Mexico’s citizens who are asking for non profit cultivation that is free from unjustified limitations of differentiated treatment before the law.
Furthermore, Rivera adds that since possession isn’t “free” and requires one to have purchased their cannabis instead of being able to carry cannabis grown at home, that these measures are actually discriminatory. Finally, the measure completely lacks any and all efforts to provide reparations for those marginalized communities deeply affected by the drug war to begin with. In Rivera’s words, the government is simply “changing the address of prohibition”–and this simply isn’t enough.
Primero Derechos, Despues Mercado: “First Our Rights, Then the Market”
On the back of Pepe’s t-shirt was the phrase Primero Derechos, Despues Mercado, which stands for “first our rights, then the market”. Rivera’s team is adamant that cannabis reform needs to prioritize human rights and ensure basic freedoms before seeking to capitalize–especially when the capital does nothing to help those affected most by oppressive prohibitionist policies. The fact that 28-200 grams of cannabis are only allowed in one’s possession if they are purchased at the market, and not grown at home, highlights these serious shortfalls in the proposed cannabis policy.
Rivera Calls for Consistency in Cannabis Regulation, Not Control
Another important demand of Rivera is rescheduling THC, the primary psychoactive component of cannabis, as a schedule IV compound as per article 245 of the General Health Law Mexico’s controlled substances act. Everybody has a 245. It’s also in the International Drug Conventions. Rescheduling is the basis for sensible, rational and proportionate laws and public policy around the world. That is the way to really end the drug war, by ending the State lie where they try to keep treating cannabis as a threat to society.
Furthermore, Rivera spotlights that the new measures seek to further “control” cannabis use instead of regulate it. Specifically, Rivera mentions how they need to change the regulation of adult use to responsible personal use instead. The latter still prohibits minors from using cannabis while still maximizing personal freedoms. Finally, it is Rivera and his team’s stance that claims the treatise not only need to be changed, but publicly denounced as well. It is a matter of “reparations and transitional justice” according to Rivera. These are both important issues currently being addressed in the United States as legalization measures sweep the nation and are crucial for other countries, like Mexico, to implement as well.
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More about Rivera’s Band of Activists and Plantón 420
For those that don’t know, Rivera and his team have established a creatively bold demonstration of protest right outside the Mexican senate. A cannabis “garden” replete with strikingly tall cannabis plants boldly line the entrance to the senate. The area, dubbed “Plantón 420” for the 420 cannabis plants towering outside the entrance, has become something of a smoker’s paradise. Cannabis enthusiasts are able to light up at Plantón 420 without fear of arrest.
This bold flavor of protest demonstrates the ruthless approach Rivera is taking to cannabis policy reform. He is shamelessly presenting the true spirit of decriminalization – fighting for our inherent right to use psychoactive drugs. The suddenly fashionable “cannabis for elite licensees only” attitude will not prevail as long as Rivera is spearheading his working class movement.