Mexico City (AFP) - Mexico opened on Tuesday a national debate on prohibitionist marijuana laws, as the government appeared open to legalizing medical cannabis use.

President Enrique Pena Nieto, who personally opposes legalization, decided to hold five public forums after the Supreme Court opened the door to recreational use of marijuana in a country beset by drug cartel violence for a decade.

"This is an issue that has directly or indirectly affected the lives of millions of Mexicans," Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said at the start of the first debate, which was broadcast online.

"Such a delicate issue cannot be left to improvisation," he said in the Caribbean resort city of Cancun, where experts were invited to debate the drug's effects on public health and addiction.

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Carola Sole ~ AFP ~

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