After a series of negotiations, Mexican lawmakers have moved a measure forward that would set a 1 percent THC limit for hemp and would allow adults to possess up to 28 grams of marijuana and grow cannabis at home.
The measure came as a result of members of the Senate’s United Commissions of Justice, Health, and Legislative Studies meeting virtually last Friday. The lawmakers also set up a vote by separate commissions of the Senate that’s scheduled to take place when they meet in person on Wednesday.
While the measure is a step toward legalizing industrial hemp and recreational weed, it still has to pass the full Senate and the lower chamber before being signed by the president and becoming law.
Mexico’s path to legalization has picked up steam over the past few years. In 2018, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that the prohibition of cannabis violated each citizens’ constitutional right to “the free development of personality.” Since then, the Senate has slowly worked on reform legislation.
Last August, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that the country would finally legalize weed in 2020. In October, Senate leader Ricardo Monreal of the MORENA party announced that a bill that would enable private companies to sell weed to the public was “likely to pass.”
Still, as 2020 draws to a close, marijuana remains illegal in Mexico. But, this latest advanced measure offers a glimmer of hope.
This new bill differs from a version that passed the Senate last March in that it does not address medical marijuana, which was approved back in 2017. Unfortunately, access to medical weed remains complicated, as the government still hasn’t finalized marketplace regulations — three years later.
Another change in the current measure is that it would allow individuals to grow and possess pot plants at home without having to alert the authorities. Previous legislation required government notification.
Following the Friday meeting, Monreal said the new proposal is a significant step away from existing laws that have “only caused the detention centers to be full of people for possession of a few grams of cannabis, which is why they seek to reduce the penalties in carrying of this product.”
It’s time to get this done, Senators. Not just because legalizing weed is the right thing to do, but also because your own government has officially set a weed legalization deadline of December 15. So, get going!