Mexican Senator María Clemente García, who recently made headlines when she posted a video of herself giving oral sex on Twitter, made headlines once again on Wednesday after smoking a joint in front of the lower house of Congress during a cannabis protest.
Clemente García is a member of the ruling Morena Party, which was founded by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), and is widely credited with stalling the elimination of marijuana prohibition that was demanded by the country’s Supreme Court back in 2018, and reinforced by a 2021 decision.
Nonetheless, she was front and center at an event meant to celebrate the 530th anniversary of the appearance of cannabis in the Americas — which a group of Mexican cannabis activists has pegged to the arrival of head Spanish colonizer Christopher Columbus in 1492. A conference, moderated by Clemente García, featuring various academics and activists spoke of cannabis history, politics, and culture within the Congress building.
“We have decided to come here for an act of civil, peaceful resistance,” Clemente García told the press before toking up and planting cannabis outside the government building. “We are not hurting anyone.”
“Regulating industrial #cannabis would principally benefit Mexico’s campesinos,” Clemente García later tweeted. “Cannabis produces more than 19 thousand products in nine industries. To fail to regulate a primary material this important represents societal backwardness.”
This is not the first time a woman legislator has wielded a joint for the cameras. In 2019, independent legislator Lucía Riojas handed Minister of Interior Olga Sánchez Cordero a spliff on the Congress floor.
Despite judicial decisions striking down cannabis prohibition, its legal use is still out of reach for most Mexicans, especially since the federal health agency tasked by the Supreme Court in creating individual permissions to cultivate and consume has lagged on its duty.
Clemente García, who is a trans woman, initially earned cheers from sex worker advocates around the world when she defiantly told the press that she sells sex and porn for money after posting a series of explicit clips to Twitter starting September 30, ostensibly to get more clients.
“I have a right to be a whore,” she said, adding that other senators were not forced to quit their day jobs.
Clemente García has risen to international fame for her pro-sex-worker stance but has also raised eyebrows by enthusiastically supporting President AMLO’s plan to militarize the National Guard, which she voted for while wearing heart-shaped sunglasses and a rainbow-hued beaded necklace. Amnesty called the move, “the latest in a series of laws and proposals relinquishing control to the military over public security functions in Mexico since 2006, in the context of the so-called ‘war on drugs.’ This militaristic approach to public security has had disastrous consequences for human rights.”
The seropositive legislator’s subsequent plan to reform Mexico’s laws regarding sex work was rejected by sex worker advocacy organizations, who stated that the plan had been formulated without their approval. Clemente García has also angered HIV/AIDS and sex worker activists with her dismissive views of people who call out HIV/AIDS stigma within the sex work industry.
“If people living with HIV aren’t getting hired, it’s because you’re dishonest and irresponsible,” she tweeted last week. “Buy a law book, instead of opening your butt cheeks like they were your mouth, it’s just that easy.”