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June 21, 2017 Mexico
The past few years have gone quite well for the marijuana advocates. With the growing awareness of the prolific aspects of this drug, a lot of countries around the world are looking forward to getting cannabis legalized. A recent addition to the countries that are routing for a nationwide legalization is Mexico.
It is ironic how the United States deems itself as the more liberal country, while our federal authorities still drag their conservative mindsets along. A majority of the states in the US have already legalized the use of medical cannabis with a handful also legalizing recreational use. Things still seem far from countrywide cannabis legalization though.
But it’s not like Mexico has had no trouble on their journey to cannabis legalization. Pena Nieto—the President of Mexico—was, in fact, one of the key oppositions of marijuana, much like what we see in the US with Trump. The only difference being that Pena is more practical with his approach. A public debate was held in Mexico which highlighted the good and the bad side of this drug. This nationwide debate was held back in 2016.
With comprehension of the benefits the cannabis industry could bring, Pena ordered to reexamine the global drug policy. He stated,
“So far, the solutions [to control drugs and crime] implemented by the international community have been frankly insufficient,”
He further went on to state that the only decent way to move forward is by leaving the prohibition behind. This is the only way to ensure “effective prevention”. It is extremely mind-boggling to see how a person, who once had such anti-cannabis views, is now trying to make things right for the Mexicans. Pena even went on to the extent of introducing a measure last year. It was designed to let the citizens of Mexico possess about an ounce of cannabis legally. Unfortunately, the proposed bill did not make it past the Congress.
On the other hand, the medical marijuana bill got passed with sheer ease. The lower house of Mexico passed the bill with a staggering 347-7 in favor to legalize the medical use of cannabis. Dr. José Narro Robles—Secretary of Health, Mexico—was among the many that spoke in favor of MMJ legalization.
The President issued the announcement today. He also ordered the Ministry of Health to draft and implement regulations that would regulate the drug properly. Special emphasis was given on regulating the pharmacological and medicinal derivatives of marijuana.
The verdict issued by the Mexican President also eliminates any criminalization or prohibition that is associated with the use of medical marijuana. As for now, according to the Ministry of Health, the cannabis permitted must contain a minimum of 1% of tetrahydrocannabinol. You cannot say that the road to properly regulated medical marijuana industry will not pose obstacles on the way. However, the good news is that at least Mexico is on the way, and has already passed the major hurdle of having the bill passed. If things continue to work in the right direction, Mexico can surely outrun the US in the cannabis industry, just like Canada has done.