The election of a new government in Mexico paved the way for quick steps to be made towards the legalization of recreational cannabis. Now the foreign minister of the country has told a Mexican Senate committee that lessons are going to be drawn from countries and jurisdictions where legalization has already occurred.
The government officials will visit Uruguay and Canada, as well as California and other U.S. states where recreational and medical cannabis are legal. Apparently, a Mexican team has already visited Canada to learn about this important process.
Additionally, a bill was filed before the Mexican Senate last month seeking to legalize recreational cannabis in the country.
Several factors have worked together to bring Mexico to this point regarding its policy on marijuana.
First, its war on the drug has only caused violence to spiral out of control, with gangs battling each other and the authorities on an almost daily basis. People grew weary of that endless war and started calling for another way to deal with the problem.
Secondly, the U.S. has been the biggest ally of the Mexican authorities in their battle against marijuana and other drugs (which were ultimately smuggled into the US). However, the Mexicans started questioning the wisdom of going on with an endless fight while a wave of cannabis legalization is sweeping across the states in the US. The Mexicans may have felt that it was time to take a leaf from the book of California, Colorado and the other more than 30 states where cannabis is legal either for recreational or medicinal use.
Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, the Supreme Court of Mexico made a fifth ruling to the effect that private individuals could not be stopped from growing and consuming cannabis if they so wished.
What was significant about making a fifth ruling?
Under Mexican law, any matter upon which the Supreme Court makes five similar rulings automatically sets a precedent that all other courts in the country must follow. Consequently, the fifth ruling that it was unconstitutional to stop an adult from consuming marijuana meant that no court in the country could deny anyone permission to grow and consume cannabis.
The decision to pass appropriate laws regulating the consumption of cannabis was therefore a necessary step to put into practice what the Supreme Court had already authorized by default.
It is commendable that the Mexican authorities have decided to listen to, and learn from several jurisdictions that have walked the legalization path before them. There is no need to try and reinvent the wheel when lessons abound regarding what to do and what to avoid during this journey.
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