TIJUANA (Border Report) — Some lawmakers in the Mexican border state of Baja California are suggesting what up until recently have been considered radical concepts south of the border: Civil unions and medicinal marijuana.
One politician is suggesting couples who have been together for more than three years be afforded the same rights and legal protections as married couples. Non-married parents with children would also be considered eligible.
The thought behind the idea is that it would help couples raise children, making more public services available while guaranteeing inheritance rights.
Stats show that in Mexico, more and more couples are choosing to have children outside of marriage. In Baja California alone, according to census numbers, 450,000 couples with children would qualify for civil union protections.
“One sees a union consummated but unfortunately in many instances, trying to gain and enjoy equal rights is arbitrary, and it becomes difficult for people to find credibility with government entities,” said State Legislator Carmen Hernández.
According to Hernández, there are certain protections in place already, but she says they are very vague and hardly recognized.
Another topic of conversation that has been brought up to Baja California residents is the idea of having access to medicinal marijuana.
Baja California Gov. Jaime Bonilla says his state is already surveying the public to see how it feels about having medical marijuana dispensaries in the state.
“There have been studies on the benefit of marijuana use, we should ask whether people agree with the likelihood with medicinal marijuana being available for use,” Bonilla said.
Bonilla stated all they want to do is see where the public stands on cannabis and its use as a medicine and whether they would consider it as alternative treatment for patients.
According to the governor, many have brought up the option during the pandemic as a way to treat ailments especially pain that many COVID-19 patients have endured during hospitalizations.
“Is this a possibility? That’s all we want to know,” he said.
So far, 1,029 people have taken part in the inquiry with 789 reportedly saying they would like to see marijuana sold for medical purposes.
Mexico is one of several countries that has officially legalized medicinal marijuana, but it has yet to establish a formal method of distributing or selling cannabis. And it has not implemented regulations governing the sale of marijuana making it impossible to purchase it legally.