Mexico introduces bill to to legalise medical and recreational cannabis use

It is a controversial proposal in a country fighting a drug war

Kristin Hugo New York

A Mexico senator has introduced a bill that would legalise recreational marijuana.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador is the president-elect of Mexico, and his soon-to-be interior interior minister Olga Sanchez Cordero proposed a bill to legalise marijuana.

If it passes, each person will be allowed to have up to 20 plants at a time for personal consumption. The bill would also include regulating and monitoring production, sales, and consumption.

In five separate court cases, Mexico’s supreme court has ruled in favour of private citizens suing for their rights to consume recreational marijuana. If this law passes, it would no longer require a lawsuit for each citizen to smoke.

Individuals can also partake in public places and produce no more than 480 grams per year if the law passes.

Ms Obrador also suggested negotiating peace and amnesty for some involved in the drug trade who security forces are currently targeting, Reuters reports.

Mexico famously struggles with the violence of drug cartels, and the government has been viciously fighting a “war on drugs” since 2006. Thousands have died in the drug war. Former Mexican president Michael Vincente Fox has argued that legalisation would reduce profits for dangerous Mexican cartels, and in turn, would reduce drug-related violence.

Globally, laws regarding marijuana are slowly relaxing. The only other countries that have formally legalised cannabis are Uruguay and, as of June, Canada. Slowly, US states are legalising medical or recreational marijuana as well.

The recent midterm election involved several marijuana-related propositions, as long as sales are still regulated and documented. North Dakota’s proposition failed, but Missouri and Utah voted to allow medical marijuana. Michigan voted to allow it recreationally as well.

MEXICAN CRIME WAVE Is it safe to travel to Cancun Playa del Carmen resort in Mexico issued with a US State Department warning after murder spree

Escalating drug cartel violence has rocked the popular Mexican holiday hotspot of Cancun

By Jon Lockett

ESCALATING drugs cartel violence rocked the Mexican holiday hotspot of Cancun after nine people were murdered in a 36-hour period in April 2018.

More than 100 people have now been killed in the popular beach resort since the start of 2018. Here’s what you need to know before you pack your bags for a holiday there…

Is it safe to travel to Cancun and other tourist spots in Mexico?

Drug-related violence in Mexico has increased massively in recent years with murders now commonplace.

Morgues even closed down in the Mexican state of Guerrero after they were inundated with gangland victims.

Many fatalities are those killed in turf wars between the different gangs competing for trafficking routes into the US.

Cops are trying to protect tourist destinations like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco and Nuevo Vallarta.

However, in the first three months of 2018 more than 100 people were killed in Cancun alone.

In one 36-hour spell in April 2018 NINE PEOPLE were murdered.

On April 21, gunmen on water scooters shot at a beach vendor in Cancun’s hotel zone, though nobody was hurt.

The following month a beach vendor was killed in a double shooting on a Cancun beach by a gang on a speedboat.

And in August, eight bodies were found after a cartel murder spree – with two of the victims dismembered and found in separate plastic bags.

US authorities issued a “Level 2” advisory warning to travellers to “exercise increased caution”, adding “violent crime such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery is widespread”.

A State Department spokesman said: “While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organisation assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents injuring or killing bystanders have occurred.”

Current Foreign Office advice says visitors should follow local advice and be vigilant, and tourists should take particular care not to be caught up in violence between criminal groups.

 

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What can I do to stop falling a victim to crime?

The chances of a tourist being murdered are still very slim as most killings are gang related.

However, crime and violence are serious problems in Mexico and the security situation can still pose a risk for foreigners.

You should research your destination thoroughly and only travel during daylight hours when possible.

Monitor local media and inform trusted contacts of your travel plans, advises the UK Foreign Office.

When driving, avoid isolated roads and use toll roads (cuotas) whenever possible.

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How can I beat the pickpockets?

Street crime is a serious problem in major cities and tourist resort areas.

Pick-pocketing is common on the Mexico City Metro and other tourist hotspots.

Dress down and avoid wearing expensive jewellery or watches and limit the amount of cash you carry with you.

Keep a close watch on briefcases and luggage, even in apparently secure places like the lobby of your hotel.

Take care when withdrawing money from ATMs or exchanging money at Bureau de Change.

Be wary of people presenting themselves as police officers trying to fine or arrest you for no apparent reason.

If in doubt, ask for identification and if possible note the officer’s name, badge number and patrol car number.

21 Things Not to Do in Mexico

Most travel guides will give you lists of things to do in a destination, but often the “what not to dos” are just as important considerations. Whether you are going to a Baja beach, a Yucatan resort, a small mountain village, or a big city south of the border, there are certain things to keep in mind when visiting this great country. We would hate for you to commit a social faux pas or put yourself in grave danger, so here’s our list of 21 things NOT to do in Mexico to ensure you have the safest, most memorable trip ever.

1. Don’t Hitch a Ride in a Libre Taxi

Taxis are extremely popular amongst tourists, but when it comes to getting around Mexico, you’ll definitely want to avoid this mode of transportation. Many taxi companies are unlicensed, resulting in their drivers being unmonitored and unsupervised. Before hopping into the back of any ol’ vehicle and potentially putting your life in danger, make sure the taxi has clear and proper signage. Your hotel should also be able to vouch for which companies are legit. And as a bonus tip: negotiate your fare before getting into the cab.

2. Don’t Flaunt Your Valuables

This one is a no-brainer, but we thought we’d add it as a friendly reminder just in case you’re planning on packing all of your fancy duds for your Mexican vacay. Walking around with blinging jewelry, an expensive camera dangling from around your neck, and an expensive handbag hanging from your shoulder will make you an easy target for thieves. To play it safe, try to blend in with the locals by taking a less-is-more approach when it comes to your clothing and accessories.

3. Don’t End Your Night Without Going to Dietrich Roma

Taking inspiration from German actress Marlene Dietrich, Dietrich Roma in Mexico City is a mansion-turned-cocktail bar where the who’s who of the city convene. After a day of exploring and enjoying some of the country’s finest cuisine, Dietrich Roma is the perfect place to get a nightcap, from their fruity Lily Tequila or their rum-filled Man by the Roadside. And don’t forget to take a picture in their on-site photo booth before heading out!

4. Don’t Over-Plan

Leave some room for serendipity and spontaneity. That is when the magic of travel happens, not on a pre-scheduled tour bus or around the hotel pool. Get out there and explore Mexico a little. You never know when you’re going to find a cozy cafe, stumble upon a street performance or get swept up in a zocalo fiesta.

5. Don’t Use the Metro System During Rush Hour

When hora pico (rush hour) comes around, the streets and highways of the major cities in Mexico turn into parking lots. During the peak hours of 7-10 a.m. and 5-8 p.m., you’ll want to refrain from using the metro system – that is unless you don’t mind getting stuck in traffic and being crammed inside a packed bus.

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If you are hospitalized with a medical emergency, we will fly you home.

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Health Insurance, General Travel Insurance, Premium Credit Cards, Membership Programs…are you truly covered for a return to your home hospital of choice? Most others specialize in travel health insurance or trip insurance and may include some ‘Medical Evacuation’ coverage.

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Announcing Student Health Advantage and Patriot Exchange Plans

International Medical Group® (IMG®) is updating our most popular international medical insurance products for the educational market: Patriot Exchange Program (PEP) and Student Health Advantage (SHA).
These plans are designed for students, scholars and educators participating in international educational programs and cultural exchanges, including J1 and J2 U.S. visa programs.
As medical costs continue to rise, individuals and groups involved in the educational market are facing increased health care costs each year. To ensure long-term rate stabilization, while providing one-of-a kind international medical insurance coverage, IMG is making the following changes to these plans, effective June 1, 2016:

  • SHA Standard plan: Removing the Maternity and Newborn Wellness benefits, resulting in a 4% decrease in rates, to allow you to market and sell the plan more affordably.
  • SHA Platinum plan: Changing the Maternity Coinsurance to 100% coverage outside of the U.S., 80% in the U.S. PPO network, and 60% in the U.S. out-of-PPO network, to keep the plan rates unchanged.
  • PEP and SHA group plans: Changing the group plan size to five or more insureds to administer these group plans more effectively.
    We’re confident these changes will provide your clients greater price stability, while continuing to offer Global Peace of Mind® while they are away from home. Click below to access the updated brochures:

Read More Here and Get a quote

Health Insurance for Travel to Mexico

Issues with Mexican Health Care

If you travel to Mexico without health insurance coverage and you need medical treatment, you might be required to pay for the services up front. You will be asked to show proof of insurance and give the facility a credit card number before you are seen. The US State Department indicates that there have been numerous complaints from US citizens regarding inflated medical charges at health-care facilities in beach resort areas. You can avoid this problem by having health insurance that is valid for the duration of your travel in Mexico.

Your US Health Insurance and Coverage in Mexico

Your current health insurance company might offer coverage for travel to Mexico, but that doesn’t mean that you will have an easy time invoking the coverage. In many cases you will have to pay the costs up front and wait to be reimbursed. You might be covered only for a limited number of days instead of your entire trip, and also might be limited to a few clinics or facilities in the entire country. Contact your health insurance provider to understand the limits of any coverage that you do have while in Mexico. If the coverage is not sufficient, you can supplement it with a travel health insurance policy.

What to Look for in a Policy

If you have decided to purchase a travel health insurance policy for Mexico, make sure that the company has the infrastructure in place to provide you with the services you will need. For example, the company should have a toll-free number that connects you to English-speaking operators 24 hours a day. The company should help you find English-speaking medical providers near you and should be able to help coordinate any care that you need.

Considerations

When shopping for your health insurance plan for Mexico, consider including a rider for emergency medical evacuation. Should you become severely ill or injured, this coverage would pay to have you flown home or driven by ambulance to continue receiving care in America. Also note that some health insurance policies will not cover you if you engage in high-risk activities like bungee jumping or if you are injured while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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10 Reasons to buy Homeowners Insurance

10 Reasons to buy Homeowners Insurance

  1. Liability coverage pays the injured person’s medical bills and damages to property.
  2. Insurance will also pay an attorney to help defend you in a court case.
  3. Homeowners insurance will pay to repair or replace your house as per the selected coverage.
  4. Dwelling protection will pay for damage to the main house and any other buildings, such as an attached garage
  5. A homeowner’s policy will also pay for damage to fences, sheds, guest houses and other structure, including an unattached garage.
  6. If your possession is destroyed, don’t fret; insurance will reimburse you for the value of your property including appliances, furniture, clothing and other possessions as per the choice you have selected at the time you have insurance. You can get actual cash value or replacement cost coverage.
  7. Protection against natural disasters such as hurricanes flood and earthquakes optional at the time of purchase additional premium required.
  8. If your home is destroyed, or is so damaged that you have to seek shelter elsewhere, a standard home insurance policy will pay to relocate you. So called (loss of use) coverage reimburses you for hotels, meals, and other living expenses up to 20% of the coverage declared at the inception of the insurance.
  9. Protection against robbery and theft
  10. Peace of mind is the main benefit of having homeowner’s insurance.