Veto Sparks Mexico City Marijuana Smoke-In

Veto Sparks Mexico City Marijuana Smoke-In
Posted by CN Staff on May 06, 2006 at 18:07:11 PT
News Story
Source: Fox News Network
Mexico City -- The issue of drug decriminalization split Mexican politics in strange ways on Saturday, after President Vicente Fox refused to sign a bill that would have eliminated criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of drugs. About 500 protesters held a marijuana smoke-in in Mexico City, and a presidential candidate who visited the demonstration came out in favor of decriminalization. Mexico City's police chief came out against it, and some members of Congress accused Fox of yielding to U.S. pressure to veto the bill.
"Decriminalization does not create more users ... we have to decriminalize the discussion of decriminalization," said presidential candidate Patricia Mercado, of the small Alternative Social-Democratic party, during a visit to the smoke-in and protest at a park in downtown Mexico City, where youths openly smoked joints and a heavy odor of marijuana hung in the air.Mercado declined protesters' invitation to "Light up! Light up!" but said she did support decriminalizing marijuana.A half-dozen Mexico City police officers confronted the protesters, but the crowd thronged around them shouting "Take us all, Take us all!" and the police quickly retreated.Possession of marijuana is currently a crime, punishable by 10 to 16 months in prison, unless a suspect can claim he is an addict or it is a first offense involving a small amount. However, few people are currently prosecuted under the law.Protest organizers described comments by U.S. officials asking Mexico to reconsider the bill as a violation of Mexico's sovereignty."The president has declared war on (drug) consumers," said Alfonso Garcia, secretary of the Mexican Association for Cannabis Studies, who described the bill Fox sent back to Congress on Wednesday as "a minor advance."But the police chief of Mexico's capital — like Mercado, a leftist — said Saturday he supported Fox's decision not to sign the bill into law.Joel Ortega said it would have made it harder for his officers to fight violent drug gangs."Imagine for a moment that we are doing a raid, we'd almost have to say, 'Let's see, gentlemen drug traffickers, allow me to weigh the drugs to see if we have the power to arrest you,"' Ortega told a news conference.Conversely, many legislators — including members of Fox's conservative National Action Party — supported the bill. They continued to defend it this week, and accused Fox of bowing to U.S. pressure."Unfortunately, very unfortunately, the president, under pressure from the United States, sent it back to Congress, saying it would 'regularize' drugs, which is not true," said Rep. Marcela Gonzalez Salas, of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party.The measure would have dropped criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other drugs. It also proposed rules on whether larger amounts of drugs could be seized by city police or federal agents, depending on the quantity.Officials in Washington expressed concern that decriminalization would encourage "drug tourism" to Mexico and increase the amount of narcotics available in border cities. On Thursday, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack applauded Fox's decision not to sign it.Under the proposed law, Mexicans would have legally been able to possess up to 25 milligrams of heroin, 5 grams of marijuana (about one-fifth of an ounce, or about four joints) or 0.5 grams of cocaine — the equivalent of about four "lines." Source: Fox News Network (US)Published: Saturday, May 06, 2006Copyright: 2006 FOX News Network, LLC. Website: foxnewsonline foxnews.comRelated Articles: Mexico President Seeks Review of Drug Law Drug Use in Mexico Called 'Reckless''s Fox To OK Drug Decriminalization Law 
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Comment #25 posted by afterburner on May 08, 2006 at 20:50:53 PT
They Changed the Freakin' Poll Already
And it's not even midnight. The results of the decrim poll do not seem to be available online.If anyone is from Toronto, maybe you could post the results from tomorrow's (Tuesday's) hardcopy of Toronto 24 hours.
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Comment #24 posted by Toker00 on May 08, 2006 at 14:19:30 PT
early results
59% Yes37% No 4% Don't freakin' knnnooooowwwww...Toke.
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on May 08, 2006 at 12:22:55 PT
Thanks for the poll.
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Comment #22 posted by afterburner on May 08, 2006 at 12:15:12 PT
You Need a Break
"Today's Poll"Should possession of small amounts of marijuana be decriminalized?"vote at"
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on May 08, 2006 at 08:50:20 PT
I will change the banner to a jpg thanks. I believe that Marches are important. I believe that news is important. I don't go to marches but that is because of my personality. You know the wall flower type. I hope we can change the course we are on in the USA. You were the first person who taught me about the prison industrial complex and you stood by me when I was getting hassled years ago. Keep up the good work you are doing. 
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Comment #20 posted by unkat27 on May 08, 2006 at 08:48:11 PT
Mexico as 52 state?
Could mexico be the 52 state of the US? That's the way it looks now, if the Mexican congress caves to US pressure.
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Comment #19 posted by eco-man on May 08, 2006 at 08:33:44 PT
Thanks FoM. Treatise on media warfare.
Thanks FoM for that page: might want to substitute this jpg image for the png banner at the top: uses only 12 kilobytes versus around 50 kilobytes for the png image.And to respond to some discussion in this thread, I think that the lies of the corporatist media can be defeated by going around them. A constant flanking guerrilla action. An info war using the guerrilla tactics of our own American revolution against the British. We won against the British because we used non-conventional warfare. In the info war we have the nonconventional media of the web, posters, banners, creative events, one-on-one conversations, ballot initiatives, etc.. We take the issues directly to the people and the voters. Most importantly we just wear the prohibitionist bastards out by never giving up. :)Alcohol users have their special days and places wear they can drink publicly with open containers outside in the streets. Marijuana marches once a year normalize cannabis smoking to a lot of people. It is amazing to see it spread across the world. Marches are so much more normalizing than they are offensive. And people see that a marijuana smoker is so much less impaired than an alcohol user. Marches are a net positive. Some people will be offended by marches. A lot more people are informed by them and come to be amused and appreciative of us all. My favorite banner:
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on May 08, 2006 at 07:39:16 PT
I was worried about you because I haven't seen you anywhere online. I'm glad you are ok. It's also good to see you still are doing what you do so well.
Global Marijuana March News 2006
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Comment #17 posted by eco-man on May 08, 2006 at 05:57:28 PT
MMM. We are our own media. We own the web.
High!Feel free to forward this anywhere.I am looking for videos, especially ones we create, and more photos and posters, for the Toronto MMM 2006 gallery: and for cities worldwide: 
Upload here: NPR Weekend Edition Sunday morning radio news covered the Toronto MMM. NPR (National Public Radio) is heard across the USA. The "thousands" at the Toronto, Canada GMM-MMM rally were also mentioned during the syndicated national radio news at the top of the hour during the Art Bell show. Lisa Garr was substituting for Art Bell Saturday night on Coast to Coast AM, a radio show heard across the USA and Canada. I believe with the advent of the web, newspapers have had a 50% drop in subscriptions. So people get a LOT of their info from the web nowadays.The Marihemp gallery gets thousands of hits per month. We are our own media nowadays. The many, many MMM posters, banners, and flyers produced and posted worldwide each year reach and educate an incredible amount of people. Some of the posters produced are amazingly well-done and packed with information. The 2005 flyers page is one of the most popular albums in the gallery: MMM pages, totaled together, are the most popular pages on my website, and generate thousands of hits per month. Click the stats link for popular pages at the top left of this very popular page: A search for "marijuana march" or "marihuana march" (in quotes) on the web pulls up literally hundreds of thousands of pages: Once there, also click the images search link to pull up thousands of images.We get some MMM coverage from the mainstream corporatist media too:
GMM-MMM 2006. Google News results archive: NPR, National Public Radio, is non-profit. and To upload images, audio, or video please go to this page: - Anybody can upload items for any cannabis event anywhere in the world for any year. No need to login or register. Please upload videos, and your highest-resolution, sharpest images! 
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Comment #16 posted by kaptinemo on May 08, 2006 at 03:44:31 PT:
Deja vu, all over again
I've been making the same kind of observations about the nature of media handling of pro-cannabis issues for years. Namely, you could have 199 intelligent, articulate, knowledgeable cannabists lined up in front of the camera in suits and ties, obviously more in line with society's vision of what a 'successful professional' looks like (and, in fact, represents the vast majority of us) and the media will zero in on the one guy at the end of the line who looks like he not only got his apparel from a dumpster, but lives in one, too. You could have some hard-hitting banners like "Cannabis kills cancer!" and then cite the 1974, 2000 and 2003 studies that prove it...but the camera will pan a bunch that's giggling and puffing in a chuckleheaded fashion and stupidly chanting "We smoke pot and we like it a lot!" or "We're high! We're here! Get used to it!" (That last one is a red cape waved in front of those who might have supported us except for what they viewed as arrogance.)I am reminded of a scene from the Malcom X movie, where a demonstration was being held in front of a police station to ensure that an activist heing held inside was not mistreated. When it was time to leave, Denzel Washington, who played Malcom X, silently drew his supporters, lined up in ranks, to attention, and then equally silently pointed in the direction they had to travel. That scared the cops who were expecting a bunch of easily disrupted, disorganized, manipulable knuckleheads and instead looked upon a future that did not bode well for their divide-and-conquer tactics. At that moment, Malcom X's movement was taken seriously. I am afraid it will require something along those lines before this movement, which has merit of its own, is taken as equally seriously - as it ought to be.
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Comment #15 posted by afterburner on May 07, 2006 at 13:47:55 PT
It has been said that organizing cannabis consumers is "like herding cats." Our independent thoughts and actions are both our great strength and our great weakness.Smoking cannabis out of a gas mask is seen as amusing by cannabis lovers and alarming by prohibitionists. "Why can't we in the cannabis movement exercise a little public restraint?" Does "public restraint" make news? Rumor has it that the unofficial motto of CTV News is "if it bleeds, it leads." How do we fight that?
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Comment #14 posted by whig on May 07, 2006 at 13:37:13 PT
I don't disagree with the sentiment of the march, nor do I want to divide the recreational from the medical and spiritual. Maybe it's just that the organizers didn't do a very good job of trying to keep things in some better control, but I don't think the Toronto march gave a very good impression of us. Since you mention the gay rights movement, I would also say that it isn't helpful when they have NAMBLA marching with them and it wouldn't be good for them to have people engaging in public sodomy either. Why can't we in the cannabis movement exercise a little public restraint?
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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on May 07, 2006 at 13:14:51 PT
MMM, Good 
Canada: Editorial: The War On Drug Reform
Pubdate: Sat, 06 May 2006 
Source: National Post (Canada) "Canada and Mexico are wrong to submit to this example of American extraterritoriality." The gay rights movement achieved some significant political traction using in-your-face antics at marches. Many, including myself, experienced embarrassment at their antics. A common reaction was "I don't care what they do in private, just don't throw it in my face." Of course, the neo-cons of Canada and USA want to repeal the hard-won gains. Anti-war protests were highly effective in changing public perceptions of war until the media became corrupted by corporate ownership and either ignored protests or only reported violent confrontations. I ceased to march when the protests were infiltrated by unrelated causes which I did not personally champion. The government of Canada has kept the number of Medical Marijuana Access Regulation (MMAR) exemptees pathetically small in order to avoid compliance with court decisions mandating "medical marijuana," which, don't forget, *is* legal in Canada for this small group. Without the support of "recreational" consumers the "sick and dying" will be steam-rollered by the Harper Minority government and its police watchdogs. So much for "getting the sick and dying off the battlefield." (Richard Cowan) Many of the marchers at the Global Million Marijuana March were young and politically inexperienced. The PTB's would like nothing better than to "divide and conquer" by isolating the medical cannabis patients from the social consumers, the spiritual devotees, and/or the hemp farmers."When simply surviving the government’s attempt to kill you is called a victory, that says a lot about the precarious state of freedom in America and Canada today."
--Richard Cowan to Introduce Kubby and Tuck at NORML Conference. Moving Beyond MarijuanaNews to “Making Democracy Work.” 
Posted by Richard Cowan on 2006-04-16 16:20:00
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 07, 2006 at 09:53:54 PT
I am not an in your face type person. I am conservative and very respectful of those who don't believe what I believe. Canada is way more outspoken then we are down here. They are way smaller in population then we are so that might make the difference. 
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Comment #11 posted by whig on May 07, 2006 at 09:47:49 PT
It was just watching the coverage of the Toronto march that bothered me, because they made us look really stupid and it felt like a self-inflicted injury. I know it was the media's slant, but we gave them an easy target. If we had just medical users and not recreational, it would have been fine I think, but when you have people blowing smoke at the cameras and just generally acting like idiots it doesn't make us look good at all. I know we're all on the same side and we're sympathetic to this, but please mentally picture the same thing with alcohol, people stumbling around drunk and spitting beer at the camera and you'll have the same impression non-cannabis users would have of this march.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on May 07, 2006 at 09:23:12 PT
I understand what you mean. The Million Marijuana March has gone on for many years. Each year it gets smaller and smaller. I can barely find any news about it this year. A person I met on the political board of back in 97 was a powerful activist for the MMM and I did the news for him more then for any other reason. I haven't seen him around for a long time now and I hope he is ok. He was always very kind to me.
2006 Global Marijuana March News
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Comment #9 posted by whig on May 07, 2006 at 09:15:13 PT
I'm not so sure I'm in favor of this. Ending alcohol prohibition wouldn't have been particularly well advanced by having people marching while publicly intoxicated.Can't we just be in favor of cannabis being used in the privacy of our homes or at other appropriate places?If we want to march can't we do it sober?
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 07, 2006 at 09:06:17 PT
Toronto's Million Marijuana March Coverage
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Comment #7 posted by whig on May 07, 2006 at 08:44:11 PT
Jesus General: Stoned Science
I think this can be safely copied to CNews. Fay
Executive Director
Drug Free America Foundation, Inc.Ms. Fay,Thank you for having the courage to defend the FDA in their fight against medical marijuana. I completely agree that it's time to shift the focus of this debate from politics to science. For too long, these medical marijuana activists have been cynically using old and sick people to advance their real cause of handing out joints in elementary schools. The story of Steve Kubby is a good example of how far they'll go. This man was diagnosed with a rare form of adrenal cancer over 20 years ago and told that he only had a few years to live. He started smoking marijuana and is still alive today and actively trying to change our drug laws. When these dope fiends manage to pull off a political stunt like that, it makes me realize how powerful an enemy we're up against.I've been doing some research as well, and I realize that this phenomenon is far from new. In the 1930s even, get this: People wanted to use hemp plants to run their cars instead of gasoline! What craziness! Thankfully, the scientists at DuPont set us straight and it was a while before Cheech and Chong bothered us again with their crazy ideas about pot. I am extremely grateful that this country is being run by people who put science ahead of politics, who aren't listening to these same silly naysayers trying to win elections by telling us the earth is getting warmer and we might run out of oil. There's no way we'll ever run out of oil. God would never let us run out of the things we need. It's called Intelligent Design. I learned it in science class.In sobriety,
T.H.P.S. I've written to Ms Fay before. She didn't reply. Also, please go here and take the poll to tell her what you think about student drug testing.
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Comment #6 posted by kaptinemo on May 07, 2006 at 08:20:05 PT:
It worked in Mexico, but here?
It's been said here many time, and in a few places, have been done. Now it's been done in Mexico City, and it came off very well indeed:A half-dozen Mexico City police officers confronted the protesters, but the crowd thronged around them shouting "Take us all, Take us all!" and the police quickly retreated.Of course, they were not facing the kind of ninja-suited, body armored, machine-pistol wielding (and Constitution-trashing!) police as we have here. But there's a very good reason why the Mex police backed down:For the Mex government to have tried the US bully-boy routine would have guaranteed the beginning of bloody revolution right there in Mexico City; Mexico is a powder keg whose fuse is always a few minutes away from the detonator. Just a few miles away from Mexico City, in decidely Leftist San Salvador Atenco, there has been a lot of rioting. What fueled the rioting there is what is happening all over Mexico, just under the surface. The average Mex citizen knows his own government is so hopelessly corrupt that it toadies to the international corporate interests - often personified by el Norte itself. So this latest bit of US interference with Mexico's internal legislative process is seen as just more gringo leaning on them. If Candidate Obrador doesn't win the next election, I wouldn't be surprised to see Mexico shatter into civil war, things are that tense. 
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Comment #5 posted by afterburner on May 06, 2006 at 23:57:41 PT
F-OX News Muddies the Waters
Of all the "drugs" and plants listed in the proposed and now rejected Mexican decriminalization bill, only heroin is a narcotic. Yet the US government and F-OX News warn of an "increase the amount of narcotics available in border cities." This sloppy reporting, which is frequently seen in government dis-information and other biased media, uses general references like "drugs" or "narcotics" to tar cannabis. Such statements are irresponsible and disingenuous."Under the bill, people would be allowed to posses 2.2 pounds of peyote, the button-sized hallucinogenic cactus used in some Indian religious ceremonies. Police would also no longer bother with possession of up to 25 milligrams of heroin, 5 grams of marijuana or 0.5 grams of cocaine _ the equivalent of about 4 "lines," or half the standard street-sale quantity."The law lays out allowable quantities for a large array of other drugs, including LSD, MDA, MDMA (Ecstasy, about two pills' worth) and amphetamines."
--Mexican Drug Bill Worries Police
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Comment #4 posted by runderwo on May 06, 2006 at 21:37:02 PT
**** "Imagine for a moment that we are doing a raid, we'd almost have to say, 'Let's see, gentlemen drug               traffickers, allow me to weigh the drugs to see if we have the power to arrest you,"' Ortega told a news            conference. Yeah right. What a joke. The legal amounts described in the law are barely visible except in the case of marijuana, and even that is pretty obvious when you have a large amount. The vast majority of cases would not be on the borderline as he claims.Something else that caught my eye. We all know the tendencies of FOX News.I found this quote interesting: "The president has declared war on (drug) consumers,"I am 99% certain that the word was "cannabis" that was replaced with "drug", given the source. (Alfonso Garcia, secretary of the Mexican Association for Cannabis Studies)Remember this article?,2933,193616,00.html"U.S. legalization advocates greeted the bill with glee."Saying that it was "greeted with glee" is quite different from saying that they "welcomed" it or "agreed with it". The word 'glee' has some connotation of an evil maniac cackling about his latest plot, to me.Very subtle things here but they are reinforcing tactics nonetheless, in my opinion.And it really doesn't surprise me at all that it is FOX articles that are catching my eye in this way lately. I am coming to the conclusion that FOX does not question, much less challenge, the status quo and consensus history. This makes them a pretty worthless source of information for anyone who does not find the status quo to be a satisfying and just situation.
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Comment #3 posted by Toker00 on May 06, 2006 at 18:30:18 PT
What an imagination...
"Imagine for a moment that we are doing a raid, we'd almost have to say, 'Let's see, gentlemen drug traffickers, allow me to weigh the drugs to see if we have the power to arrest you,"' Ortega told a news conference.This is stupid. Teach your people how to look at a legal amount, then when they see what DOUBLE that amount looks like, they won't have to ask that STUPID question, because if it LOOKS like it is DOUBLE the amount, there is no question, just arrests. Like they would even ask, anyway.Toke.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on May 06, 2006 at 18:17:18 PT
MMM News from Prague
Advocates of Legalisation of Marijuana Meet in Prague***May 7, 2006Prague -- Several thousands of people attended the annual gathering in support of marijuana legalisation at Prague's Letna plain, which was preceded by their march through Prague streets. The march and the gathering, where music and dance prevailed, was part of the international Marijuana March event. The police estimated the number of the participants at 2,000. Complete Article:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 06, 2006 at 18:14:00 PT
News Brief from KGET TV 17
Supporters of Medicinal Marijana March***May 6, 2006BAKERSFIELD - Organizers said Saturday’s march was part of a world wide march, supporting marijuana user rights around the globe. Dozens of people from the group NORML or National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws gathered at Beach Park to show their support for the legalization of marijuana. "We have to tax marijuana and regulate marijuana,” Douglas McAfee said. “We want the government to regulate it. We think there should be controls on marijuana. We think there should be access to medical marijuana that doesn't have pesticides." The law which allows doctors to prescribe marijuana to their patients for medical use was passed 10 years ago. Copyright: 2006 Clear Channel
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