A full house vote on marijuana legalization is expected to occur soon after the Mexican senate committee approval of a new legalization bill on Wednesday.
During a virtual hearing on Friday, November, 13th 2020, the joint panel initially gave consent to advance legalization and eventually met in person on Wednesday to push for the bill for floor action formally.
Earlier this month, the proposed bill was circulated to the public leading to its subsequent amendment and is now set for a full floor vote.
The new regulations would allow Mexicans who are 18 and above to purchase up to 28 grams of marijuana and grow up to 4 plants for personal use.
Most of the amendments made on the bill were generally technical. However, notable revisions were made to allow people to grow marijuana for personal use without resorting to tracking plants.
The committee, composed of members of the Senate Justice and Legislative Studies, approved the new regulation months after approving an earlier version. A full-floor action of the new bill is expected as early as Thursday, November 26th, 2020.
The new proposals have received welcoming responses from advocates and human rights activists who, while they celebrated the development, are still seeking certain amendments to promote consumer rights and social equity in the legal market.
Mexican legislatures have been working on the new reforms for the past two years after a Supreme Court ruled that prohibition on possession and cultivation of cannabis is unconstitutional.
The court ordered Congress to amend the constitution accordingly. However, the legislature could not reach a consensus on the issue and took several deadline extensions to approve the new bill.
The ruling party’s senate coordinator Richardo Monreal said the new bill is a significant improvement on the current laws against cultivation and possession and would reduce the penalties for possessing the drug.
If passed, the new laws would allow public consumption of cannabis except in places tobacco use is prohibited or at mass gatherings in the presence of persons under 18 years.
The Mexican Institute of Cannabis would be mandated to regulate the market and issue licenses.