Mexico To Loosen Its Pot Laws?
After years of suffering through a devastating drug war, Mexico finally considers the decriminalization of cannabis. Also, a legal framework for medical cannabis is in the making.
You would think that suffering through a drug war that left more than 60’000 dead would have taught Mexico something. And indeed, it seems like slowly the tide is turning. Mexico City has introduced two new bills on a national level that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis, as well as setting the ground work for its safe distribution – if they are passed.
The first bill would allow for anyone caught with 5 grams or less of marijuana upon their person to walk away without any chance of prosecution. It also outlines the creation of safe spaces, where marijuana can be distributed, free from the violence associated with organized crime, and with the assurance of high-quality, unaltered product.
In addition to this, this first bill also quantifies “thresholds” for other, harder drugs, such as cocaine and heroin – whereby these caught with small amounts can be referred to a “Discussion committee”.
This first bill goes hand in hand with a second one, also introduced at the same time. This second bill would reclassify marijuana from “List 1” to “List 3”, changing its legal status from a hard drug to one with therapeutic and medical value, but also has potential harmful effects. When combined with the first bill, it effectively creates a medical marijuana program, giving those who need it access. The bill would also lays the ground work for state production, regulation and sale of cannabis.
It could be a momentous move for the people of Mexico, and another potential brick knocked out of the wall of cannabis prohibition, and the war on drugs as a whole. It is a huge and radical move that we dearly hope comes to pass. It would set precedent for other governments to follow, and show the world that new approach to drugs is needed.
In the wise words of Hanna Hetzer of the Drug Policy Alliance “On the heels of historic marijuana legalization victories in Washington, Colorado and Uruguay, it’s promising to see other countries and jurisdictions following suit. The innovative nature of the marijuana bill — which combines elements of marijuana regulation models from around the world — demonstrates that reforms can be tailored to fit the local context.” Hopefully, this will spread, and allow cannabis users to live without fear of prosecution.