Mexico’s involvement with marijuana is well known worldwide. America’s southern neighbor has been blamed for the popularity of marijuana in the US for years. In fact, when some US states legalized, Mexican farmers suffered. Plus, its border cities house dangerous drug cartels, further adding to its notorious marijuana legacy. It’s not exactly the country you’d think would legalize marijuana.
President Enrique Pena-Nieto has proven the world otherwise when his marijuana legislation approved in a landslide vote.
Medical Marijuana in Mexico
Mid December, the Mexican Senate voted to approve President Pena-Nieto’s proposal to allow low-THC strains of marijuana into his country. Under the new law, Mexicans could purchase, import, and export all strains of marijuana – as long as it has less than 1% THC.
This new law is an expansion of previous exceptions that allowed imported CBD oils. While the exception- based process helped many Mexicans that were suffering from debilitating diseases, it was also lengthy and burdensome.
Don’t Cheer Just Yet
While this move is a huge win for the patients of Mexico, there is still some concern about access. The government plans to grow Mexico’s supply of medical marijuana. While this helps make it easier for the country to conduct much-needed research, it also raises questions about whether everyone will receive the medicine they require.
Although the President’s proposal implies a ban on personal cultivation, it may not explicitly say so. As the bill travels to the House for final approval, there is a chance it still fails. Senator Armando Rios Piter voted against it, saying it “did not do enough the address concerns about the ever-expanding drug cartels or restrictions on cultivating personal use cannabis.”
Mexico may not have dotted their I’s just yet.
A Direct Attack on Mexican Drug Cartels
Many people worry about the effect legalization may have on drug crime in Mexico. Since the former president began aggressively targeting cartels, there have been more than 100,000 deaths and nearly 30,000 people missing. Citizens and politicians worry that the cartels will see legalization as a direct attack on their revenue streams and respond with violence.
Others feel that the country’s limit on THC will prevent legalization from making any significant dent in black market Mexican marijuana.