Mexico is slowly but surely making progress on cannabis legalization. The country’s lower house of congress passed a bill on Wednesday that would do just so. Now, all the bill has to do is go through the Senate of Mexico. This would make Mexico the 5th country to completely legalize recreational cannabis.
One Step Closer
All of this was expected to happen in 2020, but unfortunately, the Coronavirus put many things on hold. Now, Mexico is ready to try again and legalize cannabis for anyone 18 and up.
On Wednesday, the lower house of Congress approved the bill by a vote of 316 to 127. As a result, the bill heads to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. Many others also believe now is the time for this to happen.
“Today, we are making history,” says Simey Olvera, a Morena party member. “With this, the false belief that cannabis forms part of Mexico’s serious health problems is left behind,”
If the bill does pass, Mexican residents 18 and up would have to obtain a permit to grow, possess or consume cannabis legally. On top of that, the country would acquire a large amount of revenue taxes from sales. Mexico could use this money to improve communities affected by the war on drugs.
Speaking of which, this move could also mark a shift in relations between feuding drug cartels. Mexico has been a long-time victim of violence because of these drug cartel rivalries.
Since this has been in the works for a while, many prominent figures speak out in support of this bill. One such is former Mexican President Vicente Fox. Last week, the former president came out claiming his confidence in Congress passing the bill.
“We’re receiving direct information from the lawmakers,” Fox told Reuters. “It’s information that is quite trustworthy and solid, and next week this should be approved.”
Fox, a director at Colombian-Canadian Khiron Life Sciences, which focuses on cannabis for medical use, has been a long-standing advocate for the decriminalization of cannabis in Mexico.
Fox hopes his bill will allow him to study cannabis more at his Fox Center in Mexico. He aims to create a cannabis greenhouse and laboratory for this purpose.
“I’m convinced legalization of marijuana is the first step towards the legalization of all prohibited products,” said Fox.
Additionally, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, president of the Morena party, is a big supporter of this bill. Obrador also controls both chambers of Congress. In other words, it’s looking very hopeful that this bill will pass.