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Adult-Use Cannabis In Argentina: President Supports The Debate In Popular Show, Says Alcohol Is More Harmful Than Weed

By El Planteo.

"What's in your life’s black box?" In tune with the new winds of communication 2.0, generational change and new ways of relating to content, the famous Spanish streamer, Ibai Llanos, interviewed Lionel Messi after his arrival to Paris. On the same day, one of the most popular journalists on the Internet was able to do the same with the Argentine president.

This is Julio Leiva, radio host, editorial director of Filo News and head of Caja Negra (Black Box), the interview series that has built bridges between generations and has already consolidated itself as one of the most interesting YouTube products of the 2020/2021 harvest. Something that, as he told to El Planteo, never ceases to surprise him.

His versatile guests range from top streamers, athletes, musicians, artists and top politicians. And, on this occasion, Julio Leiva's special guest on Caja Negra is none other than Alberto Fernández, President of Argentina.

Recently, Fernández caught the attention of the cannabis world, first, with the authorization of the Registry for the Self-Cultivation of Medicinal Cannabis (REPROCANN), his repeated statements on the legalization of adult-use marijuana, and his progressive view of the issue.

In this conversation, Leiva had the opportunity to ask the President about his view on Cannabis for adult use.

Here are some of the highlights of the interview:

"In my case it's a matter of care for the unknown."

"I have no problem in stimulating that debate."

"There are some things that it makes no sense for us to discuss at this point: marijuana use is widespread. It is also true that it is a drug that harms health. Our problem is with alcohol consumption, not with marijuana consumption."

"We have to open a debate on the legalization of marijuana. Alcohol does much more harm and no one is affected by this."

"I look with great interest at what is happening in Uruguay."

Alberto Fernandez with Julio Leiva in Caja Negra

Below, we share with you the transcript of the "cannabis moment" during the talk between Leiva and Fernández.

Julio Leiva: One of the topics of interest has to do with marijuana. During your term, is the project to decriminalize recreational cannabis going to be presented?

Alberto Fernández: Look, it is an issue: it seems to me that everybody is tempted to come to me with the issue of marijuana.

And there are some things about which it does not make much sense for us to discuss at this point. First, that marijuana use has expanded, that a lot of young people use it. That is true.

It is also true that marijuana is harmful, that it is like any other drug and that it generates damage to health. We should ask ourselves, and I am not in a position to answer this question, if the damage to health caused by marijuana is greater or lesser than the damage caused by tobacco or alcohol. Because the biggest problem we have with youth is alcohol consumption, not marijuana consumption. And on alcohol consumption there are no restrictions. An 18-year-old can, drink a bottle of gin every night, and there are no restrictions on that. And it's a problem, a huge problem now.

When I'm invited to this debate, I always think "well, let's debate, but without hypocrisy". The first thing we have to do is to put an end to hypocrisy. Marijuana is harmful. Tobacco kills with cancer and alcohol degrades the human being.

If these two are legal, I would like to know, why this one is illegal? That is the first thing I ask myself. I always ask myself that question. If I would stop here with my statement, you would think: "This guy is going to legalize marijuana".

I think that, little by little, we have to take steps. We have already legalized marijuana for therapeutic purposes, for medicinal purposes. We are promoting hemp for textile purposes, for textile production. And we have to think and open a debate at some point about the legalization of marijuana.

Now, those who pay for the consumption of marijuana are the consumers. They are not the ones who are most responsible for the problem. In any case, the problem will be the traffickers. Since they are part of the organized crime, who touch the knobs of power to avoid being prosecuted. That happens here and in the world.

Therefore, I follow with great interest and attention what is happening in Uruguay. We must pay attention to it. It is a debate that is very good to hold, we must have it.

Julio Leiva: Could we see it during your presidency?

Alberto Fernández: I have no problem in generating these debates. To tell you the truth, I am a very liberal guy in these matters. And I believe that, in the end, everyone has the right to decide, even to harm themselves. However, the State has to warn them about this harm. And then, move forward, if that harm puts others at risk.

We all know people who smoke tobacco, who drink alcohol and smoke marijuana, we surely know people who use other types of harder and more complicated drugs. These are already in another field: they have other characteristics, and are clearly harmful.

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