The Mexican Senate is on track to approve recreational cannabis legalization by December. Recreational marijuana will be legal for citizens in the entire country, not just certain states as originally anticipated.
The “Mexico Senate on Track to Endorse Recreational Cannabis by December” is a story about how the Mexican Senate has voted in favor of legalizing cannabis. This will allow people to buy and sell it recreationally, with the caveat that they are not allowed to grow their own plants. Read more in detail here: what is senate.
Since 2015, when the Supreme Court decided in favor of four persons who had grown their own cannabis for personal use, there has been a raging debate regarding cannabis reform in general, if not of the recreational kind, just south of the Rio Grande. The court was adamant about it, saying that cannabis prohibition was a violation of the fundamental right to free expression of one’s identity.
However, the legislative road to change has been bumpy thus far.
President Enrique Pea Nieto approved a law enabling medicinal usage in June 2017.
The Supreme Court, on the other hand, was not finished yet (and clearly believed that this law did not go far enough). The Mexican Supreme Court declared on October 31, 2018, that access to cannabis is a right of personhood and that cannabis prohibition is unconstitutional.
Since then, not only has the decision’s enshrinement in law been repeatedly thwarted, but so has COVID. The court has also granted the sluggish legislature legal extensions, but the writing is on the wall. In late June of this year, the Supreme Court stepped in once again, overturning the previous cannabis statute and essentially decriminalizing recreational usage. There is no more time to waste.
As a consequence, Olga Sánchez Cordero, the head of the Mexican Senate, anticipates that recreational reform will be approved into law by December 2021.
They don’t have much of a choice. However, it is important in Mexico that such a senior official, and a woman at that, is suddenly making public pronouncements regarding the issue.
Not to mention the fact that it is located just north of Mexico’s most renowned, if not fortuitously situated, river.
What Impact Could Recreational Reform Have in the United States?
Of course, one of the reasons why recreational cannabis in Mexico is strategically important is that it would sandwich the United States between two neighbors that have already legalized the drug.
For the first time, Mexican cannabis provides an even more compelling (though possibly dangerous) spectre than federal reform, at least in the medicinal sense. Specifically, cannabis cultivated for the recreational market in Mexico but destined for the United States.
It’s not like other agricultural products haven’t followed suit. Not to mention all kinds of “illicit” medications, including, of course, cannabis.
Ironically, considering the United States’ dominance in Mexico, notably during the Drug War, Mexico will be the one to teach the United States the way.
One thing is certain. Prohibitionist policies have been in place for 100 years, but they are coming to an end in December.
So, what’s next?
Some of the expectations of those expecting Mexico to transform into a Club Med cannabis experience may be disappointed. The new legislation would use an existing organization, the National Commission Against Addictions, to supervise and regulate the fledgling business, rather of creating a new one. Adults over the age of 18 will be permitted to grow up to six plants and possess up to 28 grams (approximately an ounce) of flower for personal use.
However, penalties for unlawful possession (by those under the age of 18) would be increased, primarily to prevent forest space from being turned to cannabis growing areas and to require regulators to develop coordinated campaigns against problematic cannabis usage, notably by minors.
Not everyone is pleased that a long-overdue piece of law is about to be passed. Advocates intended to incorporate wording that would give disadvantaged groups priority licensing permission. While the measure prioritizes the issue, it does not allocate a precise number of licenses to it.
Advocates had also urged Congress to eliminate the harshest punishments for breaking the rule, claiming that they were ineffective.
Of course, nothing is ever flawless.
Nonetheless, there is a definite national movement in attitude toward a more recreational future. The United States Supreme Court has already decided twice that complete change is unavoidable. Senators have even been publicly presented both joints and plants when the political winds have shifted in recent years.
It definitely doesn’t sound anything like the current argument north of the border.