The Barcelona-based magazine Cáñamo is the HIGH TIMES of the Spanish-speaking world, published in Spain for 18 years, and with a Chilean edition for 10 years. But when it launched its first Mexican edition in May, authorities freaked out.
The inaugural issue featured a cover story entitled "Pachequeando con Tito de Molotov"—or, "Getting High with Tito of Molotov"—in which Ismael "Tito" Fuentes de Garay, guitarist with the Mexican rap-metal outfit Molotov discusses the pleasures of the herb. This came to the attention of the Quality Commission on Publications and Illustrated Magazines, an agency of Mexico's Secretariat of Governance, which issued a finding that the publication is contrary to the "morals" and "good customs" of the nation. This determination was forwarded to the Prosecutor General of the Republic (PGR) and the Secretariat of Health's Federal Commission for the Prevention of Health Risks (COFEPRIS)—with the recommendation that the magazine be officially declared "illicit."
The publishers of Cáñamo México, now preparing to release their third issue, are waiting on a decision from the PGR and COFEPRIS. "We will continue with our editorial line because we consider it a right; it is our right of free expression and the right of the Mexicans to be informed," said editor Leopoldo Rivera.
One irony is that the Quality Commission, in issuing its finding, noted that Tito Fuentes in his interview "made recommendations on the appropriate age to begin consuming" cannabis. But while Fuentes admits in the interview that he started smoking at 13, he advises readers to wait until they are 21. Speaking metaphorically, he said: "If you're going to start smoking, do it in the mid-afternoon… like at 21 or 20-something years."
Mexican tokers are waiting to see if the September issue of Cáñamo México will hit the newsstands, or be suppressed.