Cannabis in Mexico becomes legal

Cannabis in Mexico becomes legal

Cannabis growing, self-cultivation, consuming and selling will be legal

In Mexico, the government of López Obrador, approves a law according to which the mentioned activities related to cannabis will be legal within days or weeks at the latest. Thousands of citizens have welcomed the news in different manifestations.

Definitely, 2019 is a great year for thousands of cannabis users and activists who have been fighting for their rights during already nine decades. It was high time!

Yes indeed, because nine decades of absurd cannabis prohibition has been a too long period for a country where every year thousands of murders are the direct consequence of the different mafia wars, so called cartels, which operate all over the country in order to grow, sell and export cannabis to other countries and their own too. Because even though marijuana has been illegal in this country, the black market was very efficient and, moreover, many cops were corrupt, probably due to their low wages.

After the legalization of cannabis in Mexico, the whole North America becomes a cannabis-legal zone. Considering that many countries in Central and South America are taking measures toward cannabis legalization too, perhaps in a short period of time we will see a whole continent where cannabis is legal. It seems the domino effect is working in America. After Uruguay, Canada and USA, it was the turn of Mexico.

Activities such as growing, selling, consuming and self-cultivation of cannabis will be legal very soon. But…what happened? How is this possible? It has been possible thanks to the parliamentarian party named Morena and its General Secretary and current President of the Nation, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The President López Obrador, through Morena party, presented a law initiative at the Senate. According to this initiative, all the previously mentioned activities related to cannabis will become legal and regulated. The President always knew the law was going to be approved because he has a comfortable majority in the Congress.

One of the most relevant supporters of the new cannabis law is ex deputy Fernando Belaunzán, who expressed his optimism about it in an interview where he said: “ It is correct that the Congress approve the new law during this first period of sessions or during the seconds at the most. I mean, between February and March. Ideally it shouldn’t exceed this date.”

Having control in the Congress, the cannabis law will not have any problem to be approved. Latin America’s second-largest economy, that legalized all drugs for a short period of time in 1940, follows the steps of Uruguay and Canada, as well as more than 30 states in the USA, where medical, and sometimes recreational cannabis, were declared legal.

However, the most important difference between Mexico and the countries which previously legalized cannabis, is that none of the others are a major producers of illegal drugs. Until now, the cartels produced and sold cannabis and several illegal drugs. Anyway, marijuana was an important item for the cartels. Now they will not be able to sell it in their own country. As a matter of fact, this is one of the most important reasons to legalize cannabis. After presenting the new law, Sánchez Cordero said:

“How much blood has been spilled, how many crimes have there been before a joint reaches someone’s hands? It’s terrible! This is an important step towards pacification”

Vicente Fox, Mexico’s president from 2000 to 2006, said during an interview: “I think the cartels will lose 40 per cent of their income with [cannabis] legal here and in the US”

López Obrador had inherited a country full of murders and he decided to drive the number of deaths down. Mexico had become a “narcostate” and certainly, with the withdrawal of cannabis from the list of banned drugs, the society expects a remarkable decrease of organized crime around the drugs.

In fact, the new cannabis law was predictable. Before this, the Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris), the top Mexican organism of sanitary regulation, allowed the sale of cannabis derived products without THC or, at least, a minimum percentage of this cannabinoid. These cannabis derived products were aliments, supplements and cosmetics.

According to the new cannabis law, consumption is allowed and adults can carry up to 30 grams of cannabis dried flowers. Citizens can grow up to 20 plants per person and up to 480 grams a year per person.

The law foresees the creation of cooperatives. The number of members cannot exceed 150. Every cooperative can produce 480 grams a year per member.

Cannabis public smoking is allowed according to the same rules for tobacco. Selling cannabis to minors will be strictly prohibited. Growing and producing cannabis is allowed if a license is obtained. In fact, the new law rules every aspect related to elaboration of cannabis products for any use: industrial, medicinal, recreational and therapeutic.

A major subject will be the legal situation of those prisoners who are in jail due to crimes related to cannabis. According to Morena, 62% percent of the inmates in 2012 were in jail for crimes against public health: drug trafficking mostly. And a 62% percent were in prison for crimes related to cannabis. On top of it, in 2011 there were 1.509 prisoners in Mexico jails due to mere consumption of cannabis without aim of trafficking.

A very important subject is about who could have access to the necessary licenses to sell cannabis and who will obtain the benefits of the activity. Professor Froylan Enciso, who is a respected expert in drugs, said during an interview on TV: “the law should compensate to those farmers who grew cannabis and were harassed by the authorities due to it. They must obtain the licenses. When it comes to taxes, they must be used to improve social wellness”

Little by Little, more countries are changing their legislation about cannabis. Especially since the WHO (World Health Organization) declared that cannabis doesn’t cause any death. Alcohol causes half a million deaths a year but it is legal. Fortunately, the new cannabis Mexico law represents a step toward the respect of individual rights. And moreover, it will be a great hit for the criminal cartels.

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