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Legalization | 01.07.2022

Indigenous Communities In Mexico Are Planting Cannabis Instead Of Corn To Prepare For Legalization

Out with the corn, in with the cannabis; these Indigenous communities hope to make direct profits from growing marijuana.

As we see more countries prepare to legalize cannabis, the more we see preparations go into that process. Mexico hopes to legalize cannabis soon, but there’s no word if that will happen in 2022.

Regardless, Indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico, and preparing for legalization by replacing corn crops with cannabis. It’s a total of ten Indigenous communities in the sierra that formed the Oaxaca Highlands collective and are currently in the process of obtaining their own growing permits.

While we’re not entirely sure if Mexico will legalize cannabis on a recreational level, these communities are planning to use the plant to sell CBD products, dishes flavored with cannabis seed, and clothes and beer made from hemp.

The move to legalization started last year when a Mexican Supreme Court decided to ease the rules for receiving licenses to grow medical cannabis, which is entirely legal in the country.

So far, the lower house in Mexico approved a national bill to decriminalize cannabis for recreational purposes, and a Senate vote is expected for the legislative period that starts in February.

Photo by Noticias Telemundo

This is more than another country legalizing cannabis; the Oaxacan growers have explained that there is Indigenous vindication in growing cannabis within their communities and gaining profits directly.

According to Axios, for many years, the Oaxaca and Guerrero highlands have been exploited by drug trafficking organizations that make local residents care for these crops owned by traffickers. These organizations will also make Indigenous communities pick opium poppy for heroin sold illegally throughout the United States.

Because of this, there was a long-held stigma against Indigenous communities growing cannabis. It’s even more disappointing that this stigma existed, seeing as Indigenous groups have grown cannabis for traditional and medicinal purposes since the 16th century.

Currently, the Indigenous communities growing cannabis in Oaxaca, Mexico, hope the permits will help them regenerate legal job opportunities so fewer Oaxacans will have to migrate north.

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