Part or chapter of a book
Mothers as Pot Legalizers: From Illegality to Morality in Medical Use of Cannabis in Latin America
Governance Beyond the Law. The Immoral, The Illegal, The Criminal
Cham : Palgrave Macmillan
85 - 103 p.
Latin America, drug policy, medical use of cannabis
Mothers of sick children that saw cannabis as an alternative to ineffective treatments have been the most influential actors in pushing toward a change in drug policy reform in Latin America. Even if they had a double fear of cannabis, linked to the narcotic nature of the substance and to the illegality associated with it, mothers mobilized and succeeded in changing the moral conception of the substance, and therefore its legal status. How did they proceed? On the one hand, mothers organized informally in transnational networks that shared information about cannabis and made the substance more accessible and safe, even if it was considered illegal. On the other hand, mothers unscrupulously publicized their cases as a way to minimize their risk of incrimination, covering behind the image of a mother whose ultimate goal is to protect her child. Based on a firsthand research in some Latin American countries, this chapter aims to explore the way in which a change in the moral perception of crime can lead to the legalization of a practice, legitimizing thus the former informal governance of it.