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Episode 18
Mexico debates marijuana legalization
Plus, what it means to get your fix

A Mexican government official suggested legalizing marijuana in tourist areas to reduce violence, but a majority of Mexicans appear to be against the idea. Canada and several US states have made the drug legal for recreational use. Would Mexico ever follow their lead in legalizing marijuana? Plus, we review what it means to “get your fix” of something—be it drugs or chocolate.

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Transcript

  • A top Mexican official suggested legalizing marijuana in resort areas. Could Mexico follow Canada’s lead one day soon?

    Welcome to Plain English, the podcast that goes at just the right speed for English learners. I’m Jeff and on today’s episode, we’ll talk about the changing politics of marijuana in Mexico, Canada and the United States. At the end of the episode, I’ll tell you what it means to get your fix of something.

    A full transcript of today’s episode can be found online, for free, at PlainEnglish.com/18. If you speak Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, or French, you can take advantage of the instant translations from English to your native language, so you never have to get confused about the definition of a word. If you’re still learning English, I think reading the transcript as you listen is a great way to associate the sounds of words being spoken with the way the words look in writing.

    Ready to go? Let’s dive in.


    Would Mexico legalize marijuana?

    For a long time, the story of marijuana between the United States and Mexico was a pretty simple one: it was grown in Mexico and smuggled into the United States.

    But now that is starting to change. Several American states have legalized recreational use of marijuana, meaning that residents of nine US states, including now California, have a safe and legal source right near their own homes. And for that reason, they don’t need to go through illegal channels to get their fix. The locally-grown, legal product is also higher quality and more consistent, even if it is sometimes more expensive. In fact, higher quality marijuana is now being grown legally in the United States, and smuggled into Mexico.

    The new relaxed laws in some US states have also gotten some people thinking that maybe Mexico should follow suit. Supporters of the idea say that legalizing the drug would take a huge local market away from the cartels and reduce violence. In fact, the Mexican tourism secretary said that tourist states of Baja California and Quintana Roo, which are home to Los Cabos and Cancun respectively, should legalize marijuana first, to reduce violence in areas popular with visitors. Both tourist areas have seen an increase in drug-related violence in recent years. Advocates also say that legalization would let the police spend their time and energy on more important things.

    The Mexican president proposed a law in 2016 that would have permitted individuals to carry small amounts of the drug, but the law didn’t pass. The Mexican Congress did recently pass a law allowing limited use of marijuana for medical purposes, something that is very common in the United States. And although Enrique de la Madrid, the tourism secretary, had to walk back his comments on legalizing marijuana, it is interesting that someone in such a high position in government would make the suggestion.

    Of course not everyone agrees that legalizing marijuana is the answer to reducing violence. A majority of voters and the Catholic Church are not in favor of legalization. A recent poll showed about two-thirds of Mexicans are against the idea.

    Some say that the marijuana business is actually shrinking and is not the primary reason for much of the violence. Those who once grew cannabis are now growing other crops or producing synthetic drugs, both of which are more popular in the United States.

    Drug laws across the US and Canada have been changing rapidly, and not always coherently. I mentioned earlier that nine US states now allow recreational marijuana use. The trouble in America is that, whatever the states may say, the national government still considers marijuana to be illegal. And that puts people in the marijuana industry in a difficult position. They can sell the product in their state, and they can even grow it, but important services like banking are not available to them because of the national laws.

    Up north Canada has passed a law that would allow recreational marijuana use and the law is expected to take effect this summer. But like in the United States, the national and provincial governments don’t all agree on how it should go. The provinces are the ones that have to pass laws governing the use of marijuana, and not all of them are ready for it just yet.

    So will it happen in Mexico? It sounds like the country is not quite ready to pass any laws right away. But one sign of the times: a poll in Mexico said that although two-thirds of people are against the idea, about the same number of people are in favor of at least having a debate on legalization—and that was a couple of years ago.


    Before we start the second part of the program, I want to ask you a quick favor. Wherever you’re listening, remember to click “subscribe” or “follow” so you don’t miss any episodes of Plain English. On Spotify, the “follow” button is right above the list of episodes. In Apple Podcasts, just click the “subscribe” button so all new episodes show up automatically.

    Speaking of Apple Podcasts, I wanted to also ask you to leave a rating and a written review if Plain English is helpful to you. Leaving a review helps other users discover the program and it’s the best way you can let me know what you think. Now, I recently ran into a problem on Apple Podcasts that you may have encountered too. When you go to leave a review, it asks you for a nickname—but if you pick a name that’s already taken, it doesn’t submit your review. So, when you get to that part, make sure to use a nickname that’s not likely to be used by anyone else.


    Get your fix

    This week’s phrase is “get your fix.” I don’t use a lot of slang on the show, and when I do, I usually don’t talk too much about it, but this is a good exception. Get your fix is definitely slang, but it’s a pretty common term in everyday life, so I think you should know about it. Get your fix simply means to get something that you’re used to getting, or that you’re addicted to.

    At the beginning of the program, you heard that some Americans are buying marijuana that was grown close to home. They don’t have to turn to illegal markets to get their fix, meaning to get what they’re looking for. At the beginning, this term was most commonly used relating to drugs. A person got their fix if they got the drugs they were craving, but the term has spread to include more innocent cravings.

    For example, one common way to use “get your fix” is when talking about coffee or chocolate. I’m a big coffee drinker and I always need to get my fix, wherever I am. Usually, I get coffee at work or I make it at home on the weekends. But if I’m traveling or doing errands in the morning, I always make sure to get my fix; if I don’t get my coffee fix in the morning, I usually get a headache in the afternoon. (I know—it’s bad!)

    Some people also have a sweet tooth, meaning they like sweets. And a lot of people get cravings for desserts or chocolate. They might say they need to get their sugar fix or get their chocolate fix if they have a craving for something sweet.

    Some people—certainly not me, but some people—might say they need to get their fix of reality television. What do I need my fix of? In addition to coffee and chocolate, I need my fix of exercise and my fix of baseball. I just did a quick search on Google for “get your fix” and the vast majority of results had to do with either (a) coffee or (b) some type of unhealthy food or drink.


    Now that you’ve gotten your fix of English today, it’s time to say goodbye. Don’t forget we have new episodes every Monday and Thursday. They’re nice and short – about 15 minutes – the perfect amount of time to practice a few times a week.

    You can connect with the show on Facebook and Twitter at PlainEnglishPod. If you want to send me an email, you can reach me at jeff [at] plainenglish.com. I’d love to hear from you and learn about who’s in the audience. Thanks again – and we’ll be back with a new episode on Thursday.

  • A top Mexican official suggested legalizing marijuana in resort areas. Could Mexico follow Canada’s lead one day soon?

    Welcome to Plain English, the podcast that goes at just the right speed for English learners. I’m Jeff and on today’s episode, we’ll talk about the changing politics of marijuana in Mexico, Canada and the United States. At the end of the episode, I’ll tell you what it means to get your fix of something.

    A full transcript of today’s episode can be found online, for free, at PlainEnglish.com/18. If you speak Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, or French, you can take advantage of the instant translations from English to your native language, so you never have to get confused about the definition of a word. If you’re still learning English, I think reading the transcript as you listen is a great way to associate the sounds of words being spoken with the way the words look in writing.

    Ready to go? Let’s dive in .


    Would Mexico legalize marijuana?

    For a long time , the story of marijuana between the United States and Mexico was a pretty simple one : it was grown in Mexico and smuggled into the United States.

    But now that is starting to change. Several American states have legalized recreational use of marijuana, meaning that residents of nine US states, including now California, have a safe and legal source right near their own homes. And for that reason, they don’t need to go through illegal channels to get their fix. The locally-grown, legal product is also higher quality and more consistent , even if it is sometimes more expensive. In fact, higher quality marijuana is now being grown legally in the United States, and smuggled into Mexico.

    The new relaxed laws in some US states have also gotten some people thinking that maybe Mexico should follow suit . Supporters of the idea say that legalizing the drug would take a huge local market away from the cartels and reduce violence . In fact, the Mexican tourism secretary said that tourist states of Baja California and Quintana Roo, which are home to Los Cabos and Cancun respectively , should legalize marijuana first, to reduce violence in areas popular with visitors. Both tourist areas have seen an increase in drug-related violence in recent years. Advocates also say that legalization would let the police spend their time and energy on more important things.

    The Mexican president proposed a law in 2016 that would have permitted individuals to carry small amounts of the drug, but the law didn’t pass. The Mexican Congress did recently pass a law allowing limited use of marijuana for medical purposes , something that is very common in the United States. And although Enrique de la Madrid, the tourism secretary, had to walk back his comments on legalizing marijuana, it is interesting that someone in such a high position in government would make the suggestion.

    Of course not everyone agrees that legalizing marijuana is the answer to reducing violence. A majority of voters and the Catholic Church are not in favor of legalization. A recent poll showed about two-thirds of Mexicans are against the idea.

    Some say that the marijuana business is actually shrinking and is not the primary reason for much of the violence. Those who once grew cannabis are now growing other crops or producing synthetic drugs , both of which are more popular in the United States.

    Drug laws across the US and Canada have been changing rapidly , and not always coherently . I mentioned earlier that nine US states now allow recreational marijuana use. The trouble in America is that, whatever the states may say, the national government still considers marijuana to be illegal. And that puts people in the marijuana industry in a difficult position. They can sell the product in their state, and they can even grow it, but important services like banking are not available to them because of the national laws.

    Up north Canada has passed a law that would allow recreational marijuana use and the law is expected to take effect this summer. But like in the United States, the national and provincial governments don’t all agree on how it should go. The provinces are the ones that have to pass laws governing the use of marijuana, and not all of them are ready for it just yet.

    So will it happen in Mexico? It sounds like the country is not quite ready to pass any laws right away. But one sign of the times: a poll in Mexico said that although two-thirds of people are against the idea, about the same number of people are in favor of at least having a debate on legalization—and that was a couple of years ago.


    Before we start the second part of the program, I want to ask you a quick favor . Wherever you’re listening, remember to click “ subscribe ” or “ follow ” so you don’t miss any episodes of Plain English. On Spotify, the “follow” button is right above the list of episodes. In Apple Podcasts, just click the “subscribe” button so all new episodes show up automatically .

    Speaking of Apple Podcasts, I wanted to also ask you to leave a rating and a written review if Plain English is helpful to you. Leaving a review helps other users discover the program and it’s the best way you can let me know what you think. Now, I recently ran into a problem on Apple Podcasts that you may have encountered too. When you go to leave a review, it asks you for a nickname—but if you pick a name that’s already taken , it doesn’t submit your review . So, when you get to that part, make sure to use a nickname that’s not likely to be used by anyone else.


    Get your fix

    This week’s phrase is “get your fix.” I don’t use a lot of slang on the show, and when I do, I usually don’t talk too much about it, but this is a good exception. Get your fix is definitely slang, but it’s a pretty common term in everyday life, so I think you should know about it. Get your fix simply means to get something that you’re used to getting , or that you’re addicted to.

    At the beginning of the program, you heard that some Americans are buying marijuana that was grown close to home. They don’t have to turn to illegal markets to get their fix, meaning to get what they’re looking for . At the beginning, this term was most commonly used relating to drugs. A person got their fix if they got the drugs they were craving , but the term has spread to include more innocent cravings .

    For example, one common way to use “get your fix” is when talking about coffee or chocolate. I’m a big coffee drinker and I always need to get my fix, wherever I am . Usually, I get coffee at work or I make it at home on the weekends . But if I’m traveling or doing errands in the morning, I always make sure to get my fix; if I don’t get my coffee fix in the morning, I usually get a headache in the afternoon. (I know—it’s bad!)

    Some people also have a sweet tooth, meaning they like sweets. And a lot of people get cravings for desserts or chocolate. They might say they need to get their sugar fix or get their chocolate fix if they have a craving for something sweet.

    Some people— certainly not me , but some people—might say they need to get their fix of reality television. What do I need my fix of? In addition to coffee and chocolate, I need my fix of exercise and my fix of baseball. I just did a quick search on Google for “get your fix” and the vast majority of results had to do with either (a) coffee or (b) some type of unhealthy food or drink.


    Now that you’ve gotten your fix of English today, it’s time to say goodbye. Don’t forget we have new episodes every Monday and Thursday. They’re nice and short – about 15 minutes – the perfect amount of time to practice a few times a week .

    You can connect with the show on Facebook and Twitter at PlainEnglishPod. If you want to send me an email, you can reach me at jeff [at] plainenglish.com. I’d love to hear from you and learn about who’s in the audience. Thanks again – and we’ll be back with a new episode on Thursday.

  • A top Mexican official suggested legalizing marijuana in resort areas. Could Mexico follow Canada’s lead one day soon?

    Welcome to Plain English, the podcast that goes at just the right speed for English learners. I’m Jeff and on today’s episode, we’ll talk about the changing politics of marijuana in Mexico, Canada and the United States. At the end of the episode, I’ll tell you what it means to get your fix of something.

    A full transcript of today’s episode can be found online, for free, at PlainEnglish.com/18. If you speak Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, or French, you can take advantage of the instant translations from English to your native language, so you never have to get confused about the definition of a word. If you’re still learning English, I think reading the transcript as you listen is a great way to associate the sounds of words being spoken with the way the words look in writing.

    Ready to go? Let’s dive in .


    Would Mexico legalize marijuana?

    For a long time , the story of marijuana between the United States and Mexico was a pretty simple one : it was grown in Mexico and smuggled into the United States.

    But now that is starting to change. Several American states have legalized recreational use of marijuana, meaning that residents of nine US states, including now California, have a safe and legal source right near their own homes. And for that reason, they don’t need to go through illegal channels to get their fix. The locally-grown, legal product is also higher quality and more consistent , even if it is sometimes more expensive. In fact, higher quality marijuana is now being grown legally in the United States, and smuggled into Mexico.

    The new relaxed laws in some US states have also gotten some people thinking that maybe Mexico should follow suit . Supporters of the idea say that legalizing the drug would take a huge local market away from the cartels and reduce violence . In fact, the Mexican tourism secretary said that tourist states of Baja California and Quintana Roo, which are home to Los Cabos and Cancun respectively , should legalize marijuana first, to reduce violence in areas popular with visitors. Both tourist areas have seen an increase in drug-related violence in recent years. Advocates also say that legalization would let the police spend their time and energy on more important things.

    The Mexican president proposed a law in 2016 that would have permitted individuals to carry small amounts of the drug, but the law didn’t pass. The Mexican Congress did recently pass a law allowing limited use of marijuana for medical purposes , something that is very common in the United States. And although Enrique de la Madrid, the tourism secretary, had to walk back his comments on legalizing marijuana, it is interesting that someone in such a high position in government would make the suggestion.

    Of course not everyone agrees that legalizing marijuana is the answer to reducing violence. A majority of voters and the Catholic Church are not in favor of legalization. A recent poll showed about two-thirds of Mexicans are against the idea.

    Some say that the marijuana business is actually shrinking and is not the primary reason for much of the violence. Those who once grew cannabis are now growing other crops or producing synthetic drugs , both of which are more popular in the United States.

    Drug laws across the US and Canada have been changing rapidly , and not always coherently . I mentioned earlier that nine US states now allow recreational marijuana use. The trouble in America is that, whatever the states may say, the national government still considers marijuana to be illegal. And that puts people in the marijuana industry in a difficult position. They can sell the product in their state, and they can even grow it, but important services like banking are not available to them because of the national laws.

    Up north Canada has passed a law that would allow recreational marijuana use and the law is expected to take effect this summer. But like in the United States, the national and provincial governments don’t all agree on how it should go. The provinces are the ones that have to pass laws governing the use of marijuana, and not all of them are ready for it just yet.

    So will it happen in Mexico? It sounds like the country is not quite ready to pass any laws right away. But one sign of the times: a poll in Mexico said that although two-thirds of people are against the idea, about the same number of people are in favor of at least having a debate on legalization—and that was a couple of years ago.


    Before we start the second part of the program, I want to ask you a quick favor . Wherever you’re listening, remember to click “ subscribe ” or “ follow ” so you don’t miss any episodes of Plain English. On Spotify, the “follow” button is right above the list of episodes. In Apple Podcasts, just click the “subscribe” button so all new episodes show up automatically .

    Speaking of Apple Podcasts, I wanted to also ask you to leave a rating and a written review if Plain English is helpful to you. Leaving a review helps other users discover the program and it’s the best way you can let me know what you think. Now, I recently ran into a problem on Apple Podcasts that you may have encountered too. When you go to leave a review, it asks you for a nickname—but if you pick a name that’s already taken , it doesn’t submit your review . So, when you get to that part, make sure to use a nickname that’s not likely to be used by anyone else.


    Get your fix

    This week’s phrase is “get your fix.” I don’t use a lot of slang on the show, and when I do, I usually don’t talk too much about it, but this is a good exception. Get your fix is definitely slang, but it’s a pretty common term in everyday life, so I think you should know about it. Get your fix simply means to get something that you’re used to getting , or that you’re addicted to.

    At the beginning of the program, you heard that some Americans are buying marijuana that was grown close to home. They don’t have to turn to illegal markets to get their fix, meaning to get what they’re looking for . At the beginning, this term was most commonly used relating to drugs. A person got their fix if they got the drugs they were craving , but the term has spread to include more innocent cravings .

    For example, one common way to use “get your fix” is when talking about coffee or chocolate. I’m a big coffee drinker and I always need to get my fix, wherever I am . Usually, I get coffee at work or I make it at home on the weekends . But if I’m traveling or doing errands in the morning, I always make sure to get my fix; if I don’t get my coffee fix in the morning, I usually get a headache in the afternoon. (I know—it’s bad!)

    Some people also have a sweet tooth, meaning they like sweets. And a lot of people get cravings for desserts or chocolate. They might say they need to get their sugar fix or get their chocolate fix if they have a craving for something sweet.

    Some people— certainly not me , but some people—might say they need to get their fix of reality television. What do I need my fix of? In addition to coffee and chocolate, I need my fix of exercise and my fix of baseball. I just did a quick search on Google for “get your fix” and the vast majority of results had to do with either (a) coffee or (b) some type of unhealthy food or drink.


    Now that you’ve gotten your fix of English today, it’s time to say goodbye. Don’t forget we have new episodes every Monday and Thursday. They’re nice and short – about 15 minutes – the perfect amount of time to practice a few times a week .

    You can connect with the show on Facebook and Twitter at PlainEnglishPod. If you want to send me an email, you can reach me at jeff [at] plainenglish.com. I’d love to hear from you and learn about who’s in the audience. Thanks again – and we’ll be back with a new episode on Thursday.

  • A top Mexican official suggested legalizing marijuana in resort areas. Could Mexico follow Canada’s lead one day soon?

    Welcome to Plain English, the podcast that goes at just the right speed for English learners. I’m Jeff and on today’s episode, we’ll talk about the changing politics of marijuana in Mexico, Canada and the United States. At the end of the episode, I’ll tell you what it means to get your fix of something.

    A full transcript of today’s episode can be found online, for free, at PlainEnglish.com/18. If you speak Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, or French, you can take advantage of the instant translations from English to your native language, so you never have to get confused about the definition of a word. If you’re still learning English, I think reading the transcript as you listen is a great way to associate the sounds of words being spoken with the way the words look in writing.

    Ready to go? Let’s dive in .


    Would Mexico legalize marijuana?

    For a long time , the story of marijuana between the United States and Mexico was a pretty simple one : it was grown in Mexico and smuggled into the United States.

    But now that is starting to change. Several American states have legalized recreational use of marijuana, meaning that residents of nine US states, including now California, have a safe and legal source right near their own homes. And for that reason, they don’t need to go through illegal channels to get their fix. The locally-grown, legal product is also higher quality and more consistent , even if it is sometimes more expensive. In fact, higher quality marijuana is now being grown legally in the United States, and smuggled into Mexico.

    The new relaxed laws in some US states have also gotten some people thinking that maybe Mexico should follow suit . Supporters of the idea say that legalizing the drug would take a huge local market away from the cartels and reduce violence . In fact, the Mexican tourism secretary said that tourist states of Baja California and Quintana Roo, which are home to Los Cabos and Cancun respectively , should legalize marijuana first, to reduce violence in areas popular with visitors. Both tourist areas have seen an increase in drug-related violence in recent years. Advocates also say that legalization would let the police spend their time and energy on more important things.

    The Mexican president proposed a law in 2016 that would have permitted individuals to carry small amounts of the drug, but the law didn’t pass. The Mexican Congress did recently pass a law allowing limited use of marijuana for medical purposes , something that is very common in the United States. And although Enrique de la Madrid, the tourism secretary, had to walk back his comments on legalizing marijuana, it is interesting that someone in such a high position in government would make the suggestion.

    Of course not everyone agrees that legalizing marijuana is the answer to reducing violence. A majority of voters and the Catholic Church are not in favor of legalization. A recent poll showed about two-thirds of Mexicans are against the idea.

    Some say that the marijuana business is actually shrinking and is not the primary reason for much of the violence. Those who once grew cannabis are now growing other crops or producing synthetic drugs , both of which are more popular in the United States.

    Drug laws across the US and Canada have been changing rapidly , and not always coherently . I mentioned earlier that nine US states now allow recreational marijuana use. The trouble in America is that, whatever the states may say, the national government still considers marijuana to be illegal. And that puts people in the marijuana industry in a difficult position. They can sell the product in their state, and they can even grow it, but important services like banking are not available to them because of the national laws.

    Up north Canada has passed a law that would allow recreational marijuana use and the law is expected to take effect this summer. But like in the United States, the national and provincial governments don’t all agree on how it should go. The provinces are the ones that have to pass laws governing the use of marijuana, and not all of them are ready for it just yet.

    So will it happen in Mexico? It sounds like the country is not quite ready to pass any laws right away. But one sign of the times: a poll in Mexico said that although two-thirds of people are against the idea, about the same number of people are in favor of at least having a debate on legalization—and that was a couple of years ago.


    Before we start the second part of the program, I want to ask you a quick favor . Wherever you’re listening, remember to click “ subscribe ” or “ follow ” so you don’t miss any episodes of Plain English. On Spotify, the “follow” button is right above the list of episodes. In Apple Podcasts, just click the “subscribe” button so all new episodes show up automatically .

    Speaking of Apple Podcasts, I wanted to also ask you to leave a rating and a written review if Plain English is helpful to you. Leaving a review helps other users discover the program and it’s the best way you can let me know what you think. Now, I recently ran into a problem on Apple Podcasts that you may have encountered too. When you go to leave a review, it asks you for a nickname—but if you pick a name that’s already taken , it doesn’t submit your review . So, when you get to that part, make sure to use a nickname that’s not likely to be used by anyone else.


    Get your fix

    This week’s phrase is “get your fix.” I don’t use a lot of slang on the show, and when I do, I usually don’t talk too much about it, but this is a good exception. Get your fix is definitely slang, but it’s a pretty common term in everyday life, so I think you should know about it. Get your fix simply means to get something that you’re used to getting , or that you’re addicted to.

    At the beginning of the program, you heard that some Americans are buying marijuana that was grown close to home. They don’t have to turn to illegal markets to get their fix, meaning to get what they’re looking for . At the beginning, this term was most commonly used relating to drugs. A person got their fix if they got the drugs they were craving , but the term has spread to include more innocent cravings .

    For example, one common way to use “get your fix” is when talking about coffee or chocolate. I’m a big coffee drinker and I always need to get my fix, wherever I am . Usually, I get coffee at work or I make it at home on the weekends . But if I’m traveling or doing errands in the morning, I always make sure to get my fix; if I don’t get my coffee fix in the morning, I usually get a headache in the afternoon. (I know—it’s bad!)

    Some people also have a sweet tooth, meaning they like sweets. And a lot of people get cravings for desserts or chocolate. They might say they need to get their sugar fix or get their chocolate fix if they have a craving for something sweet.

    Some people— certainly not me , but some people—might say they need to get their fix of reality television. What do I need my fix of? In addition to coffee and chocolate, I need my fix of exercise and my fix of baseball. I just did a quick search on Google for “get your fix” and the vast majority of results had to do with either (a) coffee or (b) some type of unhealthy food or drink.


    Now that you’ve gotten your fix of English today, it’s time to say goodbye. Don’t forget we have new episodes every Monday and Thursday. They’re nice and short – about 15 minutes – the perfect amount of time to practice a few times a week .

    You can connect with the show on Facebook and Twitter at PlainEnglishPod. If you want to send me an email, you can reach me at jeff [at] plainenglish.com. I’d love to hear from you and learn about who’s in the audience. Thanks again – and we’ll be back with a new episode on Thursday.

  • A top Mexican official suggested legalizing marijuana in resort areas. Could Mexico follow Canada’s lead one day soon?

    Welcome to Plain English, the podcast that goes at just the right speed for English learners. I’m Jeff and on today’s episode, we’ll talk about the changing politics of marijuana in Mexico, Canada and the United States. At the end of the episode, I’ll tell you what it means to get your fix of something.

    A full transcript of today’s episode can be found online, for free, at PlainEnglish.com/18. If you speak Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, or French, you can take advantage of the instant translations from English to your native language, so you never have to get confused about the definition of a word. If you’re still learning English, I think reading the transcript as you listen is a great way to associate the sounds of words being spoken with the way the words look in writing.

    Ready to go? Let’s dive in .


    Would Mexico legalize marijuana?

    For a long time , the story of marijuana between the United States and Mexico was a pretty simple one : it was grown in Mexico and smuggled into the United States.

    But now that is starting to change. Several American states have legalized recreational use of marijuana, meaning that residents of nine US states, including now California, have a safe and legal source right near their own homes. And for that reason, they don’t need to go through illegal channels to get their fix. The locally-grown, legal product is also higher quality and more consistent , even if it is sometimes more expensive. In fact, higher quality marijuana is now being grown legally in the United States, and smuggled into Mexico.

    The new relaxed laws in some US states have also gotten some people thinking that maybe Mexico should follow suit . Supporters of the idea say that legalizing the drug would take a huge local market away from the cartels and reduce violence . In fact, the Mexican tourism secretary said that tourist states of Baja California and Quintana Roo, which are home to Los Cabos and Cancun respectively , should legalize marijuana first, to reduce violence in areas popular with visitors. Both tourist areas have seen an increase in drug-related violence in recent years. Advocates also say that legalization would let the police spend their time and energy on more important things.

    The Mexican president proposed a law in 2016 that would have permitted individuals to carry small amounts of the drug, but the law didn’t pass. The Mexican Congress did recently pass a law allowing limited use of marijuana for medical purposes , something that is very common in the United States. And although Enrique de la Madrid, the tourism secretary, had to walk back his comments on legalizing marijuana, it is interesting that someone in such a high position in government would make the suggestion.

    Of course not everyone agrees that legalizing marijuana is the answer to reducing violence. A majority of voters and the Catholic Church are not in favor of legalization. A recent poll showed about two-thirds of Mexicans are against the idea.

    Some say that the marijuana business is actually shrinking and is not the primary reason for much of the violence. Those who once grew cannabis are now growing other crops or producing synthetic drugs , both of which are more popular in the United States.

    Drug laws across the US and Canada have been changing rapidly , and not always coherently . I mentioned earlier that nine US states now allow recreational marijuana use. The trouble in America is that, whatever the states may say, the national government still considers marijuana to be illegal. And that puts people in the marijuana industry in a difficult position. They can sell the product in their state, and they can even grow it, but important services like banking are not available to them because of the national laws.

    Up north Canada has passed a law that would allow recreational marijuana use and the law is expected to take effect this summer. But like in the United States, the national and provincial governments don’t all agree on how it should go. The provinces are the ones that have to pass laws governing the use of marijuana, and not all of them are ready for it just yet.

    So will it happen in Mexico? It sounds like the country is not quite ready to pass any laws right away. But one sign of the times: a poll in Mexico said that although two-thirds of people are against the idea, about the same number of people are in favor of at least having a debate on legalization—and that was a couple of years ago.


    Before we start the second part of the program, I want to ask you a quick favor . Wherever you’re listening, remember to click “ subscribe ” or “ follow ” so you don’t miss any episodes of Plain English. On Spotify, the “follow” button is right above the list of episodes. In Apple Podcasts, just click the “subscribe” button so all new episodes show up automatically .

    Speaking of Apple Podcasts, I wanted to also ask you to leave a rating and a written review if Plain English is helpful to you. Leaving a review helps other users discover the program and it’s the best way you can let me know what you think. Now, I recently ran into a problem on Apple Podcasts that you may have encountered too. When you go to leave a review, it asks you for a nickname—but if you pick a name that’s already taken , it doesn’t submit your review . So, when you get to that part, make sure to use a nickname that’s not likely to be used by anyone else.


    Get your fix

    This week’s phrase is “get your fix.” I don’t use a lot of slang on the show, and when I do, I usually don’t talk too much about it, but this is a good exception. Get your fix is definitely slang, but it’s a pretty common term in everyday life, so I think you should know about it. Get your fix simply means to get something that you’re used to getting , or that you’re addicted to.

    At the beginning of the program, you heard that some Americans are buying marijuana that was grown close to home. They don’t have to turn to illegal markets to get their fix, meaning to get what they’re looking for . At the beginning, this term was most commonly used relating to drugs. A person got their fix if they got the drugs they were craving , but the term has spread to include more innocent cravings .

    For example, one common way to use “get your fix” is when talking about coffee or chocolate. I’m a big coffee drinker and I always need to get my fix, wherever I am . Usually, I get coffee at work or I make it at home on the weekends . But if I’m traveling or doing errands in the morning, I always make sure to get my fix; if I don’t get my coffee fix in the morning, I usually get a headache in the afternoon. (I know—it’s bad!)

    Some people also have a sweet tooth, meaning they like sweets. And a lot of people get cravings for desserts or chocolate. They might say they need to get their sugar fix or get their chocolate fix if they have a craving for something sweet.

    Some people— certainly not me , but some people—might say they need to get their fix of reality television. What do I need my fix of? In addition to coffee and chocolate, I need my fix of exercise and my fix of baseball. I just did a quick search on Google for “get your fix” and the vast majority of results had to do with either (a) coffee or (b) some type of unhealthy food or drink.


    Now that you’ve gotten your fix of English today, it’s time to say goodbye. Don’t forget we have new episodes every Monday and Thursday. They’re nice and short – about 15 minutes – the perfect amount of time to practice a few times a week .

    You can connect with the show on Facebook and Twitter at PlainEnglishPod. If you want to send me an email, you can reach me at jeff [at] plainenglish.com. I’d love to hear from you and learn about who’s in the audience. Thanks again – and we’ll be back with a new episode on Thursday.



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