Mexican Senate Committees Approve Federal Weed Legalization Bill, Floor Vote to Come
Mexico’s slow but steady journey to legal weed appears to be heading toward liberation, at long last.
Published on November 19, 2020

On Wednesday, a consortium of ruling committees in Mexico’s senate approved a bill to legalize adult-use recreational cannabis nationwide, and it’s being reported that a full floor vote is slated to happen soon.

The Senate’s United Commissions of Justice, Health, and Legislative Studies initially advanced the measure during a virtual meeting last Friday, where they also said they’d convene the following week to finalize the approval. Heroically, the committees held true to their word.

If passed, the bill would allow adults over 18-years-old to purchase and possess up to 28 grams of marijuana and cultivate up to four plants for personal use, without having to inform government regulators that they were growing weed at home.

New amendments to the bill address concerns about Big Weed companies rushing in to what will be Mexico’s suddenly wide open multibillion-dollar market.

One new rule, for example, requires that after the first five years, at least 40 percent of cannabis business licenses must be granted to individuals from indigenous, low-income, or historically marginalized communities. The Mexican Institute of Cannabis will be in charge of regulating the market and deciding who gets licenses.

On his website (translated from the original Spanish), Senate majority leader Ricardo Monreal wrote, “Then intensity, duration, and complexity of the discussion reflects the desire to achieve the pacification of a country that for years has been a victim of violence caused by drug trafficking, as well as the will to respect the right to free development of the personality, at the same time that favorable conditions are generated to expand national economic development.”

Monreal continued by stating that his fellow lawmakers have “the historic opportunity to regulate the use of cannabis within the Mexican regulatory framework, to allow better control of the health of users, the emancipation of organized crime activities and the use of its wide benefits for society. This is a momentous moment in the public life of the country.”

In another translated statement, Sen. Nancy Sánchez Arredondo, of the pro-weed MORENA party, said that the cannabis legalization process “has been a long road, whose merit goes to countless civil organizations and public and private institutions that struggled to give a complete turn to the prohibition in the use of cannabis.”

The bill has been in development over the past two years. The government-ordered deadline to legalize marijuana in Mexico is December 15.

Mike McPadden
Mike McPadden is the author of "Heavy Metal Movies" and the upcoming "Last American Virgins." He writes about movies, music, and crime in Chicago. Twitter @mcbeardo
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