“Remember this advice: Marijuana is best in flowers and from trusted sources. With cocaine and synthetic drugs, go small and slow. Use a little to see how your body reacts.”
The recommendation appears in pamphlets from a campaign by the Department of Youth Policies in the municipality of Morón, the main city on the western outskirts of Buenos Aires, ruled by Mayor Lucas Ghi, an ally of Vice President Cristina Kirchner.
The controversial nominations, distributed last weekend, during a cultural, recreational and gastronomic festival, caused outrage from both experts and the opposition.
“Risk and harm reduction campaigns must promote healthy habits and health care. Never drug consumption,” said Carlos Damin, doctor-researcher of toxicology at the Faculty of Medicine of Buenos Aires and Chief of Toxicology at Hospital Fernández , reference in the capital.
“When they recommend going slowly [com a cocaína]are telling you how to start using drugs.”
For the deputy and former governor of Buenos Aires María Eugenia Vidal, “one thing is a harm reduction policy, another is to promote consumption in a place where there were children”. “This was not a mistake.”
Waldo Wolff, from the opposition coalition Juntos pela Change, announced that he will file a criminal complaint against Morón’s authorities for “crimes of incitement” and “advocacy for drugs”. Jorge Macri, minister of the Federal District of Buenos Aires, accused the campaign of “promoting consumption among young people”.
Risk Reduction Program
Through a note, the municipality justified the campaign by stating that “useful information is part of a program to reduce the risks and harm associated with the consumption of legal and illegal psychoactive substances that seeks to protect the health of those who consume drugs.”
The municipality’s Health Secretary, Martín Latorraca, argued that “the project is aimed at a drug-using public”, although at the festival where the pamphlets were distributed, most attendees were families with children.