In Mexico, Dalai Lama backs medical marijuana

In Mexico, Dalai Lama backs medical marijuana

San Francisco del Rincón (Mexico) (AFP) - The Dalai Lama weighed in on Mexico's marijuana legalization debate on Tuesday, telling an audience that he backs the drug's use for medicinal purposes.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, speaking at an event hosted by former Mexican president Vicente Fox, said that "the exception" for smoking marijuana would be if it has pharmaceutical virtues.

"But otherwise if it's just an issue of somebody (using the drug to have) a crazy mind, that's not good," he said after being asked his position on legalization at the outdoor event at the ex-president's Fox Center in the central state of Guanajuato.

Fox, who laughed when the question was asked to the Dalai Lama, has become a leading voice in favor of legalizing the narcotic in order to cut down a major revenue stream for ultra-violent drug cartels.

The Dalai Lama has been touring Mexico since Friday but the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has sought closer ties with China, has decided not to meet with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.