Mexico is on the way to freeing cannabis for recreational use. The Chamber of Deputies voted on Wednesday with 316 votes to 129 for a corresponding bill. It is considered likely that the Senate will also approve the project. This had already passed the new law in November, because of changes he now has to vote on it again. In the future, it would be legal to own 28 grams of marijuana and up to eight cannabis plants for personal use.
Mexico with its 126 million inhabitants would be the third country in the world after Uruguay and Canada to legalize the recreational use of the herbal drug. “Theoretically, this creates the largest legal market in the world, as Mexico has large production capacities,” said Lisa Sánchez, head of the organization “Mexico United Against Crime”.
Regulation should help “create peace”
The bill also aims to curb drug-related crime, which kills thousands of people each year. So far, the powerful drug cartels have controlled the lucrative illegal trade in marijuana. In 2020, Mexican authorities confiscated 244 tons of the drug.
“The law would help to create peace,” said Rubén Cayetano, MP for the ruling Morena party. The opposition party PRI, which voted against, fears that legalization would lead to increasing numbers of consumers and addictions. Until 2000, the PRI was the dominant party in Mexico for decades.
The Mexican Supreme Court had already declared the ban on recreational use of marijuana to be illegal in 2015. A brutal conflict has been raging in the country for decades between the security forces and the drug cartels, which are also hostile to one another. This is another reason why Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, with the authorities counting around 35,000 murders last year. For comparison: in Germany there were 245 in 2019.