Lead photo via the Mazatlan Post
Legal weed is eventually coming to Mexico, and government officials are welcoming the public's input on the best way to pull off nationwide legalization.
The Mexican Senate recently announced it will hold three public hearings on August 12th, 14th, and 16th. At these meetings, the public has the opportunity to voice its opinions on five different cannabis reform issues: medical marijuana, human rights considerations, concerns over addiction, public health issues, and the prevention of underage consumption.
Individuals interested in weighing in can register via a new government website, which also allows citizens to submit their opinions online. “On this site, your comments and contributions will be valuable support for the conformation of this new regulatory model,” the website states, according to Marijuana Moment. The site further explains that it is “imperative” for the government to engage in a public conversation “with an approach of absolute transparency and free participation.”
Several Mexican politicians have advocated for cannabis reform over the past decade, but it took the nation's highest court to bring the prohibition of marijuana to an end. Last fall, the country's Supreme Court ruled that any attempt to prevent a Mexican citizen from using or possessing pot for personal use is a violation of the country's constitution.
The ruling does not officially legalize pot, and law enforcement can still arrest people who break any of the country's still-existing cannabis laws. The ruling does allow any individual who has been arrested for growing, possessing, or using weed to challenge the constitutionality of their charges in court — and can expect a great likelihood of success.
The Mexican government is currently working to resolve the conflict between the court's ruling and the country's outdated prohibition laws. In May, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that “the prohibitionist strategy is already unsustainable, not only because of the violence generated by its poor results in terms of public health,” Marijuana Moment reports. Obrador recommended that his country should decriminalize pot and other drugs, making them available to users via prescriptions.
Lawmakers have proposed an even wider range of legalization alternatives, and the country's parliament is currently considering at least 10 cannabis reform bills at the moment. So far, a bill proposed by Secretary of the Interior Olga Sanchez Cordero is considered the most likely to succeed. This bill would create a full adult-use retail market, while also allowing individuals to grow up to 20 cannabis plants on private property.
Regardless of which proposal eventually succeeds, the government indicated its willingness “to know and listen to the opinions [of the people], so that they reflect the environment and the feeling of society with respect to such an important issue and, with that, contribute to obtaining a regulation according to the reality of our country.”