Mexico is on a path to joining the growing list of countries and states that have legalized weed, following the approval of a cannabis bill to Mexico's lower house of parliament.
A lengthy debate process continues in Mexico following the approval of cannabis legislation to the Mexican lower house of parliament, which would allow for a recreational cannabis market across the country.
The 316-to-129 vote was on legislation that would require licenses for every step of the production process, including cultivation, distribution, and sales. The bill also includes provisions for cultivation for personal use, and would also allow individuals to consume cannabis within their own homes.
Should the bill be passed, Mexico could become the world's largest legal marijuana market, and would also mean that the United States would then be flanked on both sides by countries where cannabis is legal.
It may be some time before the legislation is passed, if at all in the Senate, before the bill comes into effect. However, discussions about legalizing cannabis in Mexico have been occurring for several years, following the decree of the Supreme Court two years ago that the ban on cannabis in Mexico is "unconstitutional."
The Supreme Court's ruling was also followed by support from the President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who said that "in the matter of narcotic drugs, the prohibitionist strategy is already unsustainable, not only because of the violence generated by its poor results in terms of public health."
This is certainly the case in Mexico, which has notoriously dangerous drug cartels. The legalization of cannabis would disempower the illicit market and shift resources and profits toward the legal sector, boosting employment numbers and reducing crime.
As such, President Obrador has vowed to legalize cannabis should a bill arrive on his desk, which is likely to occur given that his Morena Party holds majorities in both chambers of Congress.
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