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Mexican lawmakers finally revealed the potential language of their cannabis legalization bill. This long-awaited online publication came after the Mexican Supreme Court ruled not once but five times that the prohibition of cannabis in Mexico is unconstitutional.
While some people call the passage of a now-pending bill to legalize cannabis merely a formality, it is actually a very important step. Informally legalizing cannabis does nothing to undercut the current unregulated market thriving across Mexico for cannabis sales. More importantly, official legalization provides an opportunity for the government to embrace social justice in the development of the cannabis industry in Mexico.
The provisions of the bill include the creation of a regulatory department for the government, rules about packaging that prohibit branding, and restraints on the forms of cannabis people are allowed to have. Anyone 18 and older will be able to possess smokable cannabis and cannabis concentrates. However, cannabis edibles and cannabis-infused beverages will only be available to individuals with medical cannabis licenses.
The consumption of cannabis will only be legal in private spaces under this law, so anyone lighting up in a park or on the street would still face legal consequences for doing so. Home growing will be legal under this proposed law, with each adult having the right to grow up to 4 plants. Additionally, there is a focus on social justice, with the law giving priority for licensing to places where illegal cannabis was destroyed before and to Mexican citizens over foreign business interests.
This forward momentum could help reduce enforcement efforts for prohibition in Mexico, a country disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition. Legalization in Mexico will leave the United States sandwiched between two nations that have federally legalized cannabis. Hopefully, that will serve as a wake-up call to lawmakers across the country that it is time to change our domestic policy prohibiting cannabis.