Even though the Mexican Congress Chamber of Deputies passed a law legalizing cannabis for adults over 18 in March, the bill has now stalled in the Mexican Senate, where legislators have failed to meet a deadline to end prohibition, set by the Mexican Supreme Court in 2018, when a total ban on recreational cannabis was deemed unconstitutional.
The law, if passed as written, would allow anyone 18 years and older to possess up to 28 grams of cannabis for personal use. Consumption would no longer be deemed illegal, and citizens would be allowed to plant small gardens in their homes with permits. Further, the legislation would allow farmers and commercial cultivators around the country to grow and sell cannabis, under federal regulation.
The debate is still ongoing, with an extension filed as of late April, but there is still uncertainty as to a timeline of what happens next or when it will take place.
#EnVivo Converso con las y los comunicadores que cubren la fuente informativa del @senadomexicano, en este día que concluye el último periodo ordinario de sesiones de esta Legislatura. https://t.co/qk33gFpukW
— Ricardo Monreal A. (@RicardoMonrealA) April 29, 2021
Some critics question whether the Mexican government is ready to handle the full legalization of cannabis—with a growing concern about the effects on the economy, the drug cartels, the poor farmers who cultivate cannabis, the tax implications and more.
As of this report, Mexican Senate Majority Leader Ricardo Monreal was said to have sought another extension to the Supreme Court’s deadline to create legislation and overturn the total ban on cannabis. “What’s best for everyone is for this to be a good law, not a law that is approved too swiftly and that will later be difficult to put into effect,” Monreal said in a press conference.
In a country that has dealt with a degree of violence at the hands of organized narcotics traffickers, one has to wonder whether legalization of cannabis will have any effect on the cartel’s ability to make profit off of cannabis, or turn their efforts to more illicit drugs such as meth and fentanyl.