Last Thursday, Mexico’s Senate approved a landmark cannabis legalization bill, another big move towards the country’s legalization of marijuana. The vote was a landslide, with senators voting 82 votes to 18 and seven abstentions, but it still needs to pass through the lower house of Congress for final approval.
If the initiative passes, it will mark the opening of the world’s largest legal weed market as well as a revolution in the country’s notoriously corrupt drug trade. The new bill aims to “contribute to the reduction of crime linked to drug trafficking” and “improve living conditions,” according to its text.
Adults will be allowed to carry up to 28 grams, grow up to four plants at home, and buy cannabis at authorized businesses as long as the product adheres to the maximum level of psychoactive ingredients. The drug would remain illegal for use by children, and for adults driving under the influence.
Recreational marijuana use in Mexico is not yet fully legal, although the country has slowly been moving towards full legalization. Possessing small quantities for recreational use was decriminalized in 2009.
The drug was also legalized for medical use in 2017—however, it only allowed imported cannabis with low THC levels and patient’s access to products was limited. In 2018, The Supreme Court ruled that recreational marijuana would be permitted.
While President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has neither backed nor objected to the move towards legalization, senior cabinet members have openly advocated for the change.
The advent of a legal marijuana market in Mexico has piqued the interest of cannabis companies across North America, like California’s Medical Marijuana Inc and Toronto’s Canopy Growth Corporation, and The Green Organic Dutchman.
Was this a smart move on Mexico’s part? Let us know what you think in the comments below!