This week Mexico’s Senate moved one step closer to making America the odd ball out when it comes to legalizing and regulating marijuana in North America. With only 18 defectors (and seven senators who weren’t present) and 82 supporters, the bill now has to be passed by Mexico’s equivalent of the House, the Chamber of Deputies.
The measure would legalize marijuana in Mexico for anyone over the age of 18 and allow them to grow up to six plants on their property, while also establishing a marketplace and regulations for cannabis.
Senators on the Mexican Senate’s Justice, Health, and Legislative Studies Committees approved a previous version of the legislation back in March, but then life stopped for many as the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe.
Advocates in Mexico fear the legislation still includes too many punitive measures for anyone caught possessing more than 28 grams or six plants of marijuana, the legislation would enable if passed by the Chamber of Deputies, which is why all eyes are now glued to that chamber. It’s still unclear if lawmakers in the lower chamber will debate and amend it, or merely rubber stamp what the Senate passed.
It’s taken two years to get this far since the Mexican Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional for the nation’s policy makers to continue their prohibition on marijuana. The court has granted a number of extensions, and its newest one is right around the corner: December 15th.
In August President Andrés Manuel López Obrador predicted cannabis reform will advance during the current session, which kicked off in September.
People would be allowed to consume cannabis in public under the law, though not in places that currently ban the use of tobacco products. If it becomes law, regulations and licenses for the new system would be established by the Mexican Institute of Cannabis.
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