Mexico’s Supreme Court decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults in a ruling this Monday (28).
The court ruled, by 8 favorable votes among the 11 magistrates, unconstitutional the articles of the general law on health which prohibited consumption. “Today is a historic day for freedoms,” said court president Arturo Zaldívar. “After a long way, this Supreme Court consolidates the right […] for the recreational use of marijuana.
The third country to allow the consumption of marijuana nationally, after Uruguay and Canada, Mexico is expected to become the largest marijuana market in the world with its 126 million inhabitants.
“Theoretically, yes, this will create the largest legal market in the world, given the production capacity that Mexico has, because marijuana grows in natural conditions without the energy investments they make, for example in Canada,” said Lisa Sánchez, director of the NGO Mexico United Against Delinquency, told AFP in March.
The decriminalization of cannabis in the country had dragged on since 2018, when the Supreme Court declared the total ban on the recreational use of the drug unconstitutional. After that, Congress was given a deadline, extended three times, to regulate substance use.
In November, the Senate approved a version of the law, which underwent several changes when it was approved by the House in March of this year. The text was therefore sent back to the Senate, which was to hold a final vote before April 30 – the last limit set by the Supreme Court.
On April 8, however, the president of the Senate Political Coordination Council, Ricardo Monreal Ávila, announced that he would request a further postponement because the text sent by the House contained inconsistencies and was even unconstitutional, according to the Mexican newspaper El Universal. .
“The best thing for everyone is that it’s a good law,” he said at the time, according to the vehicle. “I prefer that we give ourselves a break, a little time and that we can legislate on the subject during the next session, which begins on September 1st. There are many interests and the Senate cannot legislate under pressure from anyone. “
However, according to the Mexican daily La Lista, in early June, no request for an extension had been filed. On the Senate website, the bill tabled by the House is still pending.
Thus, on Monday, the Mexican Supreme Court endorsed the proposal of Minister Norma Lucía Piña Hernández, who indicated that Congress had not respected the court’s decision to regulate the recreational use of cannabis.
In the decision, it is determined that those who wish to use marijuana for recreational purposes can apply for a permit from the Federal Commission for the Protection against Health Risks (Cofepris), which cannot refuse the request.
“What had happened in previous situations is that Cofepris refused these authorizations and that a procedural step was necessary”, explained Adriana Muro, director of the human rights organization Elementa, at the ‘AFP.
The decriminalization comes against a backdrop of violence linked to drug trafficking in the country, which kills thousands of people every year. The liberation, however, opens up a dangerous space: the reaction of the cartels, the current owners of the company.
In 2020, Mexican authorities seized 244 tonnes of marijuana. Since December 2006, when the government launched a military drug offensive, Mexico has racked up more than 300,000 homicides.