Travelers who stay in hotels in Cancun and the surrounding area will need to sign a new form upon check-in that acknowledges that they understand the laws surrounding the consumption and transportation of illicit substances such as drugs in the country. The new rule is part of a wider anti-drug campaign that has been brought in to prevent drug-related crimes and issues from occurring during the notoriously busy and often troublesome spring break period.
In addition to having to sign the consent form about drugs, travelers to various popular destinations across Mexico will also notice an increasing amount of posters and material publicizing the risk of buying drugs in the country, as the government doubles down its efforts in its fight against drugs. Here are more details about the new form that travelers will have to sign and why the rule has been brought in.
Cancun’s Drug Law Form – What Travelers Should Know
For 99.9% of travelers visiting Mexico, their trip is bound to be everything they expected and more. With its gorgeous beaches, great food, and vibrant local culture, there are plenty of reasons why Mexico is the most popular travel destination for American travelers. Tourists from the U.S. and Canada keep flocking back to the country in great numbers, and that’s not changing anytime soon. However, for a minority of travelers, that isn’t the experience they get – and more often than not, drugs can be traced back as the route of the issues.
Thankfully, the government of Quintana Roo and the hotel associations in the region are working on a way to tackle the issue and ensure that travelers leave Mexico with only positive memories and impressions. Upon checking in to their hotels, travelers will now need to sign a form that shows that they acknowledge the drug laws in the country, which is the latest of several ways that the government is targeting the problem of drugs.
The signing of the acknowledgment form is a move that is backed by both the state government and the Secretary of Tourism as part of a wider crackdown on drug-related issues.
Travelers will be required to sign it upon arrival at hotels in Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, Tulum, Chetumal, and Mahahual, with the use of the form already in place across hotels in Riviera Maya. The form will inform guests about the rules and punishments regarding drugs in Mexico. The form reads “I have read and am aware of the legal consequences of buying drugs in Mexico”, and travelers will need to sign it with their name and signature.
Addressing the need for the form, Toni Chávez, head of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association, said:
“One of the problems is the sale of drugs on beaches and clubs. What we want is to make tourists aware that, first, this is not a destination or country where you can come to consume drugs without legal repercussion, and that, with all due respect, there is a supply of the product because there is demand.”
Punishments for drug-related offenses are strict in Mexico and can carry long jail sentences. They are as follows:
- Possession without the purpose of trade or supply — 10 months to 3 years in jail.
- Possession for the purpose of trade or supply — 3 to 6 years in prison.
- Trade, supply, transportation, production and trafficking — 4 to 7.5 years in prison
The new form rule comes just as the region is coming into its busiest period, with more than a million tourists expected to arrive over the Easter spring break period. The government of Quintana Roo is putting a lot of weight behind the campaign against drugs with its ad campaign, which highlighted the risk of prison – or worse – for travelers, having already drawn controversy this year.
Even after the spring-break period, the form will likely be here to stay, as Mexico attempts to lower violence in tourist areas, mostly caused by the demand for drugs.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories