Mexico Passes Cannabis Legalization Bill

Lawmakers in Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies approved a bill Wednesday that would legalize the production, distribution, possession and consumption of cannabis by adults across the country, The New York Times reported. According to the report, the bill passed with 316-129 votes. The bill goes back to the Senate, where it should easily be approved, and then to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who should sign it into law.

The legalization bill would allow adults to legally possess up to 28 grams of cannabis and grow six plants at home. The age limit for purchasing and consuming cannabis – and for obtaining a license to sell cannabis – is 18 years. In Mexico, medicinal cannabis is regulated separately by the Ministry of Health.

Today we live in a historic moment. This perpetuates the false belief that cannabis is part of Mexico’s serious health problems. – House of Representatives member Simi Olvera, via The Times.

The Mexican Senate approved a first version of the legalization law last November. The legalization process finally came to a halt after the Mexican Supreme Court declared cannabis prohibition unconstitutional. The deadline for legalisation set in this judgment (currently scheduled for April) has been repeatedly postponed due to the coronavirus and other complications.

Remarkably, a November poll found that the measure was unpopular with Mexicans. Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed said they opposed legalization of cannabis, according to the report. Even cannabis advocates have criticized the government’s plan, saying it doesn’t do enough for social justice and for removing some of the stigma around cannabis – owners would have to register with the government, for example.

According to a report published in January by Headset, the legal cannabis market in Mexico could be worth more than $840 million.

Once Mexico’s legalization law goes into effect, the United States will be the last to push for cannabis prohibition in North America.

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