July 25, 2021

Mexico decriminalizes recreational cannabis use with conditions

The Supreme Court of Mexico has ruled. Marijuana Prohibition Has Been Declared “Unconstitutional”, Monday, June 28, faced with the indecision of parliamentarians to set a legal framework regulating consumption. The highest judicial body of the country thus decriminalizes the recreational use of the psychotropic substance, under conditions, in a country undermined by drug trafficking.

“Today is a historic day for freedoms”, welcomed the President of the Supreme Court, Arturo Zaldivar, just after the vote of eight of the eleven senior magistrates in favor of a “Declaration of unconstitutionality”, the name “Respect for the right to free development of the person”. The decision, which planes two articles of the public health law prohibiting the use of cannabis for recreational purposes, was greeted by cries of joy from dozens of activists for its legalization. In front of the press, Hugo Legorreta, spokesperson for the Planton420 collective, stressed that “This great victory does not legalize free use of marijuana, however.”

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Only holders of a permit, issued by the Federal Commission for the Protection against Health Risks (Cofedis), will be able to consume, acquire seeds and cultivate cannabis on a non-profit basis. The decision also restricts its recreational use to adults in the private sphere.

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Senior magistrates were forced to rule because of the blocking of lawmakers. The Supreme Court had however imposed on Congress, in 2019, to legislate on the consumption of cannabis, after the approval of five appeals on the unconstitutionality of its ban, setting a precedent. A first bill was passed in the Senate in November 2020, legalizing its use, production and marketing, before being amended by the deputies. This new version was rejected by the senators, arguing inconsistencies. Since then, the project has remained a dead letter despite the deadline for legislating, set for April 30, by the Supreme Court.

“The legislators are cautious because the majority of the population does not approve a total legalization in a country which remains very conservative”, commented Erick Ponce, President of the Promoting Group for the Cannabis Industry (GPIC), recalling that the medicinal use of cannabis has been legal since 2017. Mr. Ponce welcomes “This new breakthrough” but worry about ” law void “ resulting from the Court’s decision: ‚ÄúPossession of more than five grams of marijuana remains a criminal offense punishable by law. “

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