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Mexico set to legalise marijuana and create ‘world’s largest legal market’ in bid to smash drug cartels

Mexico set to legalize marijuana and create ‘world’s largest legal market’ in bid to smash drug cartels

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MEXICO is set to legalize marijuana and create the “world’s largest legal market” in a bid to combat the country’s powerful drug cartels.

The legislation, backed by Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, looks almost certain to be approved after a 316-129 vote in the country’s lower house.

Mexico set to legalise marijuana and create ‘world’s largest legal market’ in bid to smash drug cartels
Reuters

Activists in favor of the legalization of marijuana take part in a march[/caption]

Mexico set to legalise marijuana and create ‘world’s largest legal market’ in bid to smash drug cartels
EPA

Cannabis consumers march as lawmakers met to discuss the landmark bill[/caption]

Lawmakers who supported the bill said it would “contribute to achieving peace” after the deaths of more than 300,000 people in a gruesome war with the cartels.

It is hoped creating a legal, regulated cannabis market will deprive the cartels of their market and empty prisons of small-time weed users.

Simey Olvera, a lawmaker from Lopez Obrador’s ruling Morena party who was wearing a mask with marijuana leaves printed on it, said: “Today we are making history.

“With this, the false belief that cannabis forms part of Mexico’s serious health problems is left behind.”

But critics of the bill fear legalizing the drug would increase the “rate of consumption and addiction” in the country.

And some experts fear transnational corporations will be the primary beneficiaries rather than consumers or the farmers who have formed the lowest rung of the drug chain.

Today we are making history


Simey Olvera, lawmaker

The approved legislation, which needs to return to the Senate, would permit recreational use of marijuana but establish a system of licenses required for the entire chain of production, distribution, transformation, and sales.

It would also require that individuals, and not just associations of users, have a permit to grow plants for personal use.

Each individual would be allowed to have six plants with a maximum of eight per household.

Adults could use marijuana without affecting others or children, but if caught with more than one ounce (28 grams) they would be fined.

They could face jail time if they had more than 12 pounds (5.6 kilograms).
In 2015, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of the recreational use of marijuana.

Four years later the court ordered the government to create legislation, arguing that prohibiting its use was unconstitutional.

The court has given lawmakers until April 30 to pass a law.

Where is cannabis legal?

Mexico set to legalise marijuana and create ‘world’s largest legal market’ in bid to smash drug cartels

Even though the majority of nations have banned cannabis, a significant number will not prosecute for the personal use it.

In Australia, Puerto Rico, Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia, and Macedonia it is legal for medicinal purposes in some form, and in Turkey, you are allowed to cultivate it for personal medical use.

In Uruguay, Spain, Slovenia, Netherlands, Jamaica, Columbia, and Chile cannabis is legal or decriminalized in some form.

The US states of Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington also have relaxed drug laws.

However, because US federal laws still make the sale of weed illegal, the true legal status remains a grey area.

On October 17, 2018, Canada legalized the use of marijuana for recreational use.

Medicinal marijuana use has been legal in Mexico since 2017 and is allowed in several other Latin American countries.

But only Uruguay allows recreational use in the region.

Even if the Senate were to approve the lower chamber’s bill without additional changes, it would take time for it to take effect.

An entire regulatory framework would have to be developed.

That has been the case of medicinal marijuana, which only began to function in January with the establishment of the necessary regulations.

Mexico set to legalise marijuana and create ‘world’s largest legal market’ in bid to smash drug cartels
AFP or licensors

Members of the Mexican Cannabis Movement roll joints in front of the Mexican Senate in Mexico City[/caption]

Mexico set to legalise marijuana and create ‘world’s largest legal market’ in bid to smash drug cartels
AFP or licensors

Youngsters roll joints at the esplanade of the Estela de Luz monument in Mexico City[/caption]