Erick Raúl Alemán Ramírez, known to his fans as El Alemán, said local cops extorted him and his friends of 5 grams of weed and the US equivalent of $400.
On 4/20, the international weed holidaze, Alemán released the much-anticipated follow-up to his 2019 album Humo en la Trampa, aptly titled Humo en la Trampa 2. On 4/22 around 2am, Alemán said he and a group of friends were driving back to his Homegrown studio in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur. A search of the vehicle turned up 5 grams of weed and a grinder with small amounts of shake.
Mexico effectively decriminalized weed (and most other “recreational drugs”) back in 2009. While the legal limit anyone may possess is 5 grams, Alemán said on Instagram that the cops demanded mordida — an illegal bribe — to let him and his buddies go free. The police reportedly wanted 25,000 pesos ($1,000 US) but he claimed to talk them down to just 10,000 pesos ($400 US), Remezcla reported.
“It was literally like an express kidnapping,” Alemán posted on Instagram. “I mean, I know the rules of the street, but I felt like I was being assaulted. I was like, ‘What is happening?’”
Alemán said the police confiscated other belongings, such as his wallet, ID, sunglasses, and Gucci belt. Eventually, the cops returned his wallet and ID, but not the sunglasses or the belt.
If Mexico legalized weed, police harassment and extortion like the kind described by Alemán would no longer happen when it comes to weed. Instead, the practice of mordida is widespread throughout Mexico and Latin America, as it gives police an additional side-income under economies left in tatters by corrupt bureaucracies and violence triggered by the War on Drugs.
Mexico has already legalized recreational marijuana through its Supreme Court, but the national government still has yet to finalize regulations for licensed pot sales. The process for full legalization has been stalled for over a year, and the latest deadline of April 30 will not be met due to coronavirus concerns. The next date for the Mexican government to consider regulations for weed legalization will take place sometime during the next legislative session, which begins September 1.