Mexico City - Mexico's Senate will vote on a bill that will fully legalize marijuana by the end of the month, Senator Ricardo Monreal, the leader of Lopez Obrador's MORENA party, said in a Reuters interview on Monday.
Monreal said the public consultation over the prospect of Mexican marijuana legalization had ended, with the majority of the public in favor of legalization. He added that the government was close to finalizing a reform bill that, if passed by the lower house, would be enacted without delay.
"We're thinking that we'll bring the law out, approve it, by the end of October," he stressed. "That's the schedule we have."
The swift action would suggest that Mexico's lawmakers are keen to meet a Supreme Court deadline set last year. Officials had made it clear they believed a nationwide ban on personal possession, cultivation and use of cannabis was unconstitutional, and urged the ruling party to set the legalization structure in stone before the end of October 2019.
"The end of the prohibitionist policy is good for the country," Senator Monreal said, adding that the bill would regulate personal use and sale of marijuana as well as research into the plant. It also contemplates creation of cooperatives that would grow marijuana plus a new regulatory agency.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a leftist critic of Mexico's longstanding drug war, has signaled his openness to the decriminalization of marijuana since last year, as part of his security policy.
Sources: Reuters • The Leaf Desk