Mexican Tourism Secretary Pushing for Cannabis Legalization at Two Prime Locations

By Katie Burke

Minister Enrique de la Madrid is urging the Mexican government to legalize cannabis in Mexico’s’ prime tourist locations, Baja and Quintana Roo, where Cancun and Los Cabos lie. In a conference yesterday, de la Madrid told reporters “It’s absurd that we’re not taking this step as a country. Even if there’s work to do on the whole of the country, I’d like to see that it might be done in Baja California and Quintana Roo.” The governor of Baja California Sur, Carlos Mendoza, is supporting de la Madrid in his efforts. He was quoted as saying “It seems foolish and illogical that we’re here fighting with a strategy that costs lives in Mexico and magically, crossing the border, marijuana becomes legal.”

In 2017 Mexico was added to the list of vacation destinations that the United States has placed a travel warning on. This past summer a series of scathing articles and first-hand accounts hit the press with accusations of all-inclusive resorts serving tainted alcohol. The scandal broke as a number of US tourists reported blacking out, being robbed, and even sexually assaulted after being served one mixed drink at the resorts. This past August, Mexican regulators raided 30 resorts and seized 10,000 gallons of tainted alcohol. This raid lead to two bars being shut down, one was located in the popular tourism spot of Cancun.


Despite the scandal Minister de la Madrid, urges tourists to enjoy the resorts in Mexico and declared that American travelers are safe.

De la Madrid and President Enrique Pena Nieto are taking action to change the cannabis culture in Mexico. An estimated 100,000 people were killed by cartels in Mexico within the past decade. The Mexican government has begun looking at addiction and drugs as a public health issue, rather than a criminal issue. In 2016, President Nieto proposed a bill where Mexicans can carry up to one ounce of cannabis; the bill has been stalled in Congress.

In addition, Mexico legalized medical marijuana last year. Despite that Mexico’s MMJ program only allows “pharmaceutical derivatives” of cannabis, not whole flowers, it’s a big step for the country.

With California legalizing marijuana and Mexico still fighting the war against weed, it seems San Diego is the ideal travel destination to get the best of both worlds; fine weather and weed.