MEXICO CITY- Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that a ban on recreational cannabis use is unconstitutional.
The court has now ruled against a ban five times, setting up a precedent that other courts in Mexico are required to follow. The court made its first ruling on the issue of personal cannabis use in November of 2015.
The ruling does not mean that residents in Mexico can legally use cannabis as they see fit. The court ruled that consumption of some substances could still be regulated by lawmakers.
“But the effects caused by marijuana do not justify an absolute prohibition on its consumption,” the court said in a statement.
The court instructed Mexican health officials to allow people who want to use cannabis personally to do so “albeit without allowing them to market it, or use other narcotics or psychotropic drugs.”
“This is one more indication that the end of cannabis prohibition is truly a global phenomenon. Safe, affordable access to cannabis has become the expectation of most adults around the world, including in Mexico, and governments are responding at a remarkable pace,” Naprawa told mg.
So far, only two countries have legalized recreaitonal cannabis nationwide. Uruguay was the first country and Canada did so last month. If Mexico legalizes, then both countries sharing a border with the United States would regulate the sales of cannabis.
Could this development lead to U.S. lawmakers legalizing cannabis?
“Once Mexico gets its laws in line with this new ruling, recreational marijuana will be legal across a contiguous 5,000 mile stretch from Mexico in the south to California, Oregon, Washington, Canada and, finally, Alaska in the north,” Sam D’Arcangelo, Director of Cannabis Voter Project told mg. “This new reality will likely put even greater pressure on Congress to make changes at the federal level in the U.S,” D’Arcangelo added.
“With Canada opening their legal adult market earlier this month and Mexico slated to begin regulating cannabis for adult and medical use, the U.S. is about to be left behind in the global marketplace if Congress doesn’t act quickly to end federal prohibition and start treating the cannabis industry fairly,” Morgan Fox, Media Relations Director for NCIA, a cannabis trade association that advocates for legalization.
“Nearly two-thirds of adults nationally think cannabis should be legal, and while most politicians agree, they are often afraid to touch the issue or it is not a priority for them, and we are working to change that,” Fox continued.
Currently, nine states have legalized recreational cannabis and 31 states that have approved medicinal use. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has introduced a bill that would decriminalize cannabis if the Democrats regain control of Congress after the November 6 election.