Jul 1, 2021 - World

Mexico moves closer to legalizing cannabis

A man lights a joint next to a greenhouse
Proponents of legalizing marijuana have set up an improvised greenhouse in front of Mexico’s Senate. Photo: Héctor Vivas/Getty Images

Mexico’s Supreme Court has ruled that prohibiting the recreational use of marijuana and THC is unconstitutional because it violates the right to a “free development of personality.”

What they’re saying: “Criminal organizations are currently the ones who determine when and how one can have access to the active substance,” drug policy lawyer Frida Ibarra tells Axios. “And that can only be changed if the government builds on the court’s decision and Congress votes to regulate the legal who, when and where.”

The big picture: Mexico would become the world’s largest legal cannabis market if its Congress approves a proposed decriminalization bill.

  • Both chambers have voted yes on the measure in the past year, but each made significant changes to the proposed text that need to be resolved.
  • A final vote on a conference measure is expected in the fall.

Where it stands: Now Mexicans can get a permit from the regulatory agency and cultivate cannabis for personal use, although the details on how to obtain a permit are unclear.

  • There are still no set rules on how many ounces are legal to carry or how a seed or plant can be obtained legally.
  • Regulations would come from the legislation under consideration in Congress.

The bottom line: Legalizing marijuana could reduce cartel involvement in trade to U.S. markets along with the violence over transportation routes that has left at least 250,000 Mexicans dead and another 80,000 missing over the past decade, Ibarra said.

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