Nov 5, 2018

The path toward legal pot in Mexico

Two men at a pro-marijuana rally in Guadalajara. Photo: Ulises Ruiz/AFP via Getty

Another U.S. neighbor is moving closer to approving the recreational use of marijuana after a ruling from Mexico's Supreme Court last week that establishes a precedent for courts across the country.

Why it matters: Fernando Belaunzarán, a former Mexican congressman and drug legalization activist, told Axios that the court's ruling that three plaintiffs must be allowed to use marijuana recreationally provides a "legal path" to legalization. While not everyone can produce, transport or consume marijuana, anyone who requests a permit to do so before the Federal Commission for Protection Against Health Risks must receive it. The ruling puts pressure on the Mexican legislature to take action.

Not everyone is optimistic. Andrés Aguinaco, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, told El País America that the road is full of obstacles. He believes there are two scenarios: Either Congress eliminates all or some restrictions on marijuana use or it does nothing, in which case the future of legalization will lie with the court. It could force a change to the laws, but that would be an unprecedented step.

The bottom line: This is already the fifth decision in the same direction by the Supreme Court, an important threshold in establishing a national precedent. Mexico has yet to join Canada and Uruguay in legalizing marijuana use, but activists like Belaunzarán say that could change as early as next year.

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Top Trump ally sounds 2020 election alarm over coronavirus response

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

There is growing concern among top conservative leaders that the Trump administration isn't addressing the long-term economic impact of the coronavirus, several sources tell Axios. One top adviser said if the recovery is bungled it could cost President Trump the election.

What we're hearing: "The next 4-8 weeks is really going to decide whether Trump gets reelected," Stephen Moore, Trump's former nominee for the Federal Reserve board, told Axios. If the administration mishandles its economic recovery efforts, he said, Trump is "in big trouble."

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,600,427 — Total deaths: 95,506 — Total recoveries: 354,006Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 465,329 — Total deaths: 16,513 — Total recoveries: 25,410Map.
  3. Public health latest: U.S. has expelled thousands of migrants under a CDC public health orderDr. Anthony Fauci said social distancing could reduce the U.S. death toll to 60,000.
  4. Business latest: The Fed will lend up to $2.3 trillion for businesses, state and city governments — After another 6.6 million jobless claims, here's how to understand the scale of American job decimation.
  5. 2020 latest: Top conservative leaders are concerned the Trump administration isn't addressing the virus' long-term economic impact.
  6. States latest: FEMA has asked governors to decide if they want testing sites to be under state or federal control.
  7. World latest: Lockdowns have led to a decline in murders in some of the world's most violent countries — Boris Johnson is moved out of the ICU but remains in hospital with coronavirus.
  8. In Congress: Senate in stalemate over additional funding for small business relief program.
  9. 1 SNL thing: "Saturday Night Live" will return this weekend in a remotely produced episode.
  10. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredPets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Federal court temporarily blocks coronavirus order against some abortions

Gov. Greg Abbott. Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Thursday that clinics in Texas can immediately offer medication abortions — a pregnancy termination method administered by pill — and can also provide the procedure to patients nearing the state's time limits for abortions.

Driving the news: The decision comes after federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of an executive order by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott that prohibits abortions during the coronavirus outbreak.

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