The Mexican Supreme Court has postponed the deadline again for lawmakers to adhere to the mandate of legalizing adult-use cannabis and industrial hemp.
Congress can now debate on the issue until the conclusion of the upcoming 2021 session. The session commences in February and ends during April.
On Wednesday, Mexico’s lower house (Deputies Chamber) requested the Supreme court to snooze the 15th December deadline for legalizing marijuana in all forms. This comes after the court called for authorization after giving a verdict that illegalizing marijuana use is unlawful.
Last month, the Senate accented the bill to set up a cannabis and hemp marketplace before sending to the Chamber of Deputies for voting.
The reform recommends a 1% THC threshold for hemp and setting up a new state department to monitor the cannabis market. It also proposes that 40% of growth and processing licenses be granted to indigenous communities, farmers and others affected by Mexico’s marijuana criminalization.
The pending elections may affect the timing of the Deputies Chamber vote. In June, 500 seats in the lower house will be up for grabs. Based on a poll released in May this year by the Center for Social Studies and Public Opinion, a strong majority of Mexican voters (50.5% of the interviewed population) were against legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes. 46.3% somewhat support the reform while 3.2% didn’t respond.
The same poll shows 86.6% of Mexicans support marijuana legalization for medical purposes while 12.8% are against it.
The present 2021 deadline for lawmakers to adhere to the mandate is the 3rd extension. The original October 2019 deadline was pushed to April this year then to 2020 December. The first extension was intended to be ‘one-time only and exceptional’.
Accenting the policy change amid the coronavirus pandemic was identified as the most significant justification for the recent 2021 extension.