Is Mexico Moving Toward Cannabis Legalization This Year?

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Mexico effectively changed its cannabis policy through its Supreme Court late last year. On October 31, 2018, the Mexican Supreme Court reached its fifth ruling regarding recreational cannabis use by adults. The Mexican court system is carefully structured to prevent unusual cases from setting powerful precedent. It was that fifth case where the Mexican Supreme Court ruled once again against adult prohibition that future enforcement of cannabis prohibition in Mexico became nearly impossible.

However, despite a lot of confusion by those excited by the ruling and even the mainstream media, the Mexican Supreme Court did not actually legalize recreational cannabis. Instead, it simply found that the laws prohibiting adult cannabis use were unconstitutional. That difference is of critical importance. People still face harassment and arrest in Mexico for using and possessing cannabis. There are also no laws on the books that protect those who sell or cultivate cannabis. However, that could change in the upcoming months.

Rumor has it that Mexican lawmakers will be drafting comprehensive legalization measures during the summer recess which lasts from May 1 until August 31. They will then be able to vote on those new potential laws when they resume session in September. Doing so is actually their legal obligation as a result of the Supreme Court ruling, but lawmakers seem keen to take action swiftly.

Given how lucrative cannabis has already become for Canada and how difficult enforcing prohibition has become thanks to the Supreme Court rulings, some legalization measure is almost certain to pass the Mexican legislature this fall, if for no other reason than to ensure that the state benefits from the use of cannabis in Mexico.

For those of you keeping score, that means that by the end of 2019, the United States will likely be sandwiched between two countries that allow for the adult recreational use of cannabis, even while many of the border states between the nations continue their prohibition of this popular plant. Here at Ladybud, we will be tracking the situation in Mexico as it moves forward. Hopefully the ability of Mexican lawmakers to take quick action on an important social issue will motivate lawmakers here in the United States to do something similar.

For previous Ladybud articles about Mexico, click here.