An 8-year-old's tragic illness tests Mexico's ban on marijuana use

By Jill Replogle

MONTERREY, Mexico — They can tell the next one’s coming when she begins rubbing her hands together, as if washing them. Her head slumps, and she looks left. She starts to flick her fingers and knead her skinny thigh.

About once an hour, Grace Elizalde’s brain electrifies in epileptic seizures intense enough that her brown eyes dance wildly back and forth and she spreads her arms out like a cartoon ghost. These are the big brain quakes, but there are hundreds of flash tremors each day that leave the 8-year-old Mexican girl exhausted and limp.

After years of cycling through anti-convulsive medications, her family is now desperate to try the one experimental treatment that Mexico prohibits — a marijuana oil that has helped U.S. children in similar conditions. But even as states approve marijuana for recreational and medicinal use, the country that is the main channel for illegal narcotics to the United States opposes legalization as staunchly as ever.

With the exception of more liberal Mexico City, public opinion in this socially conservative country falls strongly against legalization. Tens of thousands of Mexicans have died in the country’s war with its drug-trafficking gangs, a toll that hasn’t weakened the government’s policy.

Earlier this month, … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times