By Alexandra Hicks
It appears Mexico is next country in line to legalize recreational cannabis at the national level.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrado’s leftist party, which currently has the congress majority, proposed a legislation that would legalize the cultivation, sale, and consumption of cannabis in Mexico. Interestingly, Mexican residents and politicians are equally divided on whether or not this will help to eliminate organized crime or create more drug users.
Mexico’s war on drugs has been deadly, with about 235,000 people killed and another 40,000 who have disappeared since 2006. “We don’t want any more deaths … no more mourning families, no more bloodshed,” said Sen. Olga Sánchez Cordero of the left-wing National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party.
Cannabis legalization could be extremely beneficial for Mexico
Sánchez Cordero is the one who introduced this new legislation to the Senate last week. She told fellow lawmakers that “militarization and penalization” hasn’t worked thus far, so a new approach is in order. Although people are split on the decision, Sánchez Cordero’s MORENO party holds the majority in both houses of congress, so this new law is fully expected to pass.
The bill would include provisions for companies to grow and sell cannabis for medical, recreational, and commercial use. It would also allow individuals to register for permits to grow up to 20 plants each year for personal use. Smoking in public would also be legal, granted it’s not a tobacco-free zone.
Cannabis legalization could be tremendously beneficial for Mexico. Currently, illegal production has been steadily declining since many U.S. States have legalized it. However, that can change should Mexico decide to get into the legal market. Mexico has a lot of open farmland that’s optimal for growing cannabis. Plus, the United States, Canada, and Mexican consumers themselves would create an ideal market. A 2016 survey notes that more than 7 million Mexicans have used cannabis at least once in their lives.
According to MORENA party officials, the finalized bill should be on the president’s desk before the year’s end. Check back for more updates and make sure to subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter for all the latest news and information about the cannabis industry.