The Mexican senate has finally approved a comprehensive cannabis legalization bill that will allow adult use. The bill was approved on the 19th of November 2020. The country is Latin America’s second largest consumer of cannabis.
The bill was passed with 82 votes in the senate and If the President, Andres Manuel Lopez, has no objection,he will sign the bill into law. Only 18 members voted against the bill with seven senate members absent from the vote. Before the president’s signature, the bill has an extra hurdle as it needs to go through the lower legislative chamber.
If the adult cannabis use bill is signed into law, Mexico will be the third country in the world to approve legal marijuana after Uruguay in 2013 and Canada in 2017.
The Supreme Court had ordered the bill to be approved by mid-December 2020. The original deadline given to the lawmakers was for October 2019, but the Senate failed to reach an agreement. They were given an extension until the end of April 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, yet again the deadline was extended to 15th December 2020.
A cannabis agency is to be formed to cater for secondary rules once the bill passes.It will only regulate recreational marijuana and industrial hemp. It does not restrict the medical –use of cannabis.
In mid-2017, Mexico approved the use of medical cannabis through its health and criminal law reform. However, the law was never properly implemented.
As for business licenses, the bill provides preferences for marginalized communities. Countries that have legalized the use of adult-use cannabis have done so under their own respective cultural, social, and economic reasons.
The legislation bill in Mexico centres on the right to free development of the person, social justice, and peace recovery.