Mexico decides legalizing cannabis


The production, sale, consumption, self-cultivation and export of cannabis will be legal within a few weeks in Mexico

The Mexican government has presented a law to allow growing, selling and consuming cannabis, which very soon will be enjoyed by thousands of users who until now were considered criminals. Without any doubt, these users will not forget the new change of times of this early 2019.

90 years of ferocious prohibition end after a tough fight to prove the medical and scientific ability of cannabis. The market in this great country doesn’t want to be left behind in this excellent commercial opportunity because from now, with the inclusion of Mexico, the map of legalization spreads all over North America.

Growing, producing, buying and consuming marijuana in Mexico will not be illegal anymore in a very short time. The parliamentarian group Morena, whose leader is the present elected President of the nation, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, presented last Tuesday at the Senate, a law initiative which regulates these activities related to cannabis. Having a comfortable majority in the Congress, the law will begin to operate very soon.

“ 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.” said Fernando Belaunzarán, who is ex deputy and promoter of the new law. Therefore, cannabis will be completely legal within days.

It was already coming! Before this new law, the Federal Commission for Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris), the top Mexican organism of sanitary regulation, had already allowed the sale of products elaborated with cannabis, such as aliments, supplements and cosmetics.

During an interview, Julio Sánchez y Tépoz, president of Cofepris, presented a list with the first 38 cannabis-derived products that were immediately allowed to sell and export. That decision was considered historic and meant the end of prohibition.

In the same direction goes Olga Sánchez, future Ministry of Interior in the present government of López Obrador, who when the project was presented declared:

“We have to rethink the drug policy in our country. It is high time to change, because it has always been a polemic subject. The frontal fight (against narcotraffic) through the weapons has brought more deaths to our country. We aren’t for absolute liberalization of drugs, bur regularization of cannabis.”

From that moment, seven companies had license to sell different cannabis-based products. But none could sell products which exceed the minimum legal amount of THC. They are products made of CBD. With the new law the situation changes and Mexicans will be able to legally enjoy cannabis.

There had already been several cases on which the Supreme Justice Court had dictated sentences in favor of citizens who considered their rights to be developed as a person were violated due to different articles of the General Law of Health. Thanks to these sentences, it was created a important jurisprudence that now opens the door to this new legal status. Therefore, the initiative of Morena begins to regulate the cannabis sector.

The General Law for Regulation and Control of Cannabis is the obvious reaction to the diverse prohibition politics that during nine decades have ruled the country. In Mexico, production and illegal cannabis trafficking have been the constant conflict point between government and cartels. It is a war that cartels were winning. However, with the legalization of cannabis in Mexico and the whole North America, the mafias have lost an important chance to finance their activities. Mexico was becoming a “narcostate”. With the withdrawal of cannabis from the list of prohibited substances, it is expected an important decrease of the organized crime around drugs.

Sánchez Cordero explains that the new law regulates all the possibilities related to production, consumption, export and other potential uses of cannabis.

When it comes to self consumption, the new law allows adult users to carry up to 30 grams of marijuana and cultivate up to 20 plants per person. Citizens will be able to grow up to 480 grams of dried flowers per year.

Obviously, it has been planned the creation of cooperatives to grow cannabis, whose number of members cannot exceed 150. Each cooperative can harvest 480 grams per member a year. The users are allowed to public smoking with rules very similar to tobacco regulations. The sale to minors is condemned and it is allowed growing and producing for selling, as far as they obtain their license. The new law also regulates all subjects related to elaboration of cannabis products for industrial, medical and therapeutic purposes.

Another important issue is the legal status of the prisoners who remain in jail for cannabis crimes. According to information provided by Morena, 62% percent of the prison inmates of Mexico in 2012 were in prison for crimes against public health; drug trafficking. Among them, almost 60% percent were in jail for crimes related to cannabis. Only in 2011 there were 1.509 inmates in Mexico due to simple consumption without aim of trafficking.

Another important question is who could access to the licenses and who will benefit from the taxes. The opinion of Professor Froylan Enciso, respected expert in drug politics, is that 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”, he declared during an interview on TV.

Time after time more countries decide to legalize cannabis because it is a substance that, according to the WHO (World Health Organization), it doesn’t cause any death, while alcohol, a legal and even well seen substance, produces almost half a million deaths per year. These numbers are related to its single use in both cases. No doubt this new law is an step forward for the individual rights of citizens and a great hit for the cartels, in a country with thousands of murders caused by cannabis illegal trafficking.

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