Medicinal marijuana became legal in Mexico in mid-January, and recreational use may not be far behind.
The Senate in November 2020 passed a bill legalizing recreational marijuana. It still needs approval by the Chamber of Deputies. That branch of the federal government has until the end of April to make a decision.
The Mexico Supreme Court in 2018 determined that banning the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana for personal use was unconstitutional. The court has given lawmakers extensions to devise regulations to legalize the drug.
If Mexico does legalize recreational marijuana, it would be the largest country to do so. Canada and Uruguay are the countries where it is legal today. Marijuana legalization is being watched worldwide. As of late last year the United Nations’ Commission on Narcotic Drugs no longer classifies medical marijuana as a dangerous narcotic, a label that had been associated with this form of cannabis for more nearly six decades.
Mexico is considering allowing anyone who is at least 18 to grow 20 registered plants, with a yield not exceeding 480 grams a year, which is a little more than 1 pound. Personal possession would be cut off at 28 grams, or about 1 ounce.
It remains to be seen how legalization will affect the drug cartels. However, those organizations have beefed up their illicit trade with fentanyl and crystal meth because of marijuana legalization in several U.S. states.
While a decision about recreation marijuana is eminent, officials have said it’s unlikely the new rules would take effect in 2021.