Mexico's Supreme Court Effectively Legalizes Marijuana Possession, Cultivation, and Use

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In an earth-shaking development, Mexicos Supreme Court ruled last Wednesday that the countrys prohibition of marijuana use, possession, and personal cultivation is unconstitutional. The decision came in a pair of cases challenging the ban on weed, and because these rulings mark the fifth time the court has ruled similarly, the opinions are now legal precedent in the country.

The high court in Mexico City based its decision on constitutional protections of individual autonomy.

The fundamental right of the free development of the personality allows adults to choosewithout any interferencewhat recreational activities they desire to undertake and protects all the activities necessary to make that choice.The effects of marijuana consumption do not justify an absolute prohibition of its use, the court held.

But the court also noted explicitly that the right to grow, possess, and consume marijuana is not absolute and the consumption of certain substances can be regulated.

That means it will be up to lawmakers to come up with s around the legal use of marijuana, as well as any move toward a regulated, legal marijuana market in the country. And that is likely to happen: Parties backing President-Elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), who is supportive of marijuana legalization, control absolute majorities in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.

In its rulings, the high court ordered the federal health regulatory agency, COFEPRIS, to authorize the use of marijuana by adults who choose to do so, but it also added: albeit without allowing them to market it, or use other narcotics or psychotropic drugs.

Mexico has already decriminalized both pot possession and the possession of personal use amounts of other illicit drugs.

Coming less than two weeks after Canadas marijuana legalization came into effect, the striking decision by the Mexican Supreme Court is only going to add to the pressure to advance federal marijuana legalization here in the U.S.

This is extraordinary because it is taking place in one of the countries that has suffered the most from the war on drugs, said Hannah Hetzer, senior international policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance. With marijuana already legal in Canada, now both of the ...

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