Pérez Molina Still Open to Legal Marijuana Trade in Guatemala


Español Guatemalan president Otto Pérez Molina, in an interview with the Washington Post on Thursday, didn’t rule out the possibility of legalizing marijuana in his country.

President Pérez Molina met with President Obama during his time in Washington D.C.
President Pérez Molina met with President Obama during his time in Washington D.C. (Presidential Press)

A few months after taking office in 2012, President Molina mentioned the possibility of legalizing some drugs to stem the flow and diminish the clout of violent drug gangs who rule over wide swaths of Central America. In 2013, he also caused a stir when he used his annual address at the UN General Assembly to credit the states of Colorado and Washington for their “visionary decision” to legalize marijuana.

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Molina said that the mass media might have misinterpreted his comments on drug legalization as a suggestion that all drugs should be legalized. “But little by little, there have been more incidents that suggest that the issue should be looked at differently, based out of the level of addiction and the damage they can cause,” he said.

Molina sees Marijuana as different from other types of drugs: “It’s clear how marijuana doesn’t cause the same level of addiction, or damage to health, and these are steps we’re taking in the right path,” he explained.

Molina mentioned that he will host an international conference on drug policy in September in Guatemala, and he has initiated a commission to follow what is happening in jurisdictions with lenient marijuana laws such as Uruguay, Portugal, Holland, Colorado, and Washington state.

“I expect to receive the studies, analysis, and recommendations at the end of the year, and from there we will make the decisions that would best fit our country,” he said.

Molina, a former military general, is currently visiting the United States, to meet with US President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden to discuss the historic influx of immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border. Molina is serving his first term in office, through until 2016.

Source: Washington Post.

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