MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s decrease chamber authorised a marijuana legalization invoice Wednesday, setting the nation on the trail to turning into one of many world’s largest authorized marijuana markets.
Deputies authorised the laws typically phrases, however continued debating particulars late into the evening. The authorised laws, which must return to the Senate, would allow leisure use of marijuana, however set up a system of licenses required for all the chain of manufacturing, distribution, transformation and gross sales.
It could additionally require that people, and never simply associations of customers, have a allow to develop vegetation for private use. Every particular person can be allowed to have six vegetation with a most of eight per family.
Adults might use marijuana with out affecting others or kids, but when caught with a couple of ounce (28 grams) they might be fined. They may face jail time if they’d greater than 12 kilos (5.6 kilograms).
Opposition events didn’t assist the laws, which they are saying will result in elevated drug use.
In 2015, Mexico’s Supreme Court docket dominated in favor of the leisure use marijuana. In 2019, the court docket ordered the federal government to create laws, arguing that prohibiting its use was unconstitutional.
The court docket has given lawmakers till April 30 to go a legislation.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has expressed assist and his occasion, Morena, has a majority within the congress that’s shifting the laws. Nonetheless, with campaigns underway for nationwide legislative elections in June, the ultimate type of the laws remains to be evolving.
Critics worry some adjustments made by the decrease chamber threaten the unique intent.
For instance, within the newest model, lawmakers did away with establishing a brand new authorities company particularly for the regulation of marijuana. As an alternative, administration of the brand new market will go to the present Nationwide Fee In opposition to Addictions, which specialists say doesn’t have the capability to manage one thing so advanced.
“They’re going to make the law inoperable,” mentioned Lisa Sánchez, director of Mexico United In opposition to Crime, one of many nongovernmental organizations that has been pushing marijuana legalization for years.
Lawmakers favoring the invoice say it would transfer the marijuana market out of the fingers of Mexico’s highly effective drug cartels to the federal government.
However specialists worry transnational firms would be the major beneficiaries fairly than shoppers or the farmers who’ve fashioned the bottom rung of the drug chain.
Medicinal marijuana use has been authorized in Mexico since 2017 and is allowed in a variety of different Latin American international locations. However solely Uruguay permits leisure use within the area.
Even when the Senate had been to approve the decrease chamber’s invoice with out extra adjustments, it will take time for it to take impact. A whole regulatory framework must be developed. That has been the case of medicinal marijuana, which solely started to operate in January with the institution of the mandatory rules.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Join membership to turn out to be a founding member and assist form HuffPost’s subsequent chapter