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Mexico Court Decriminalizes Marijuana

Mexico’s Supreme Court has decriminalized recreational marijuana use for adults, after a legalization bill stalled in Congress. In an 8-3 decision on Monday, the court ruled that sections of the country’s general health law prohibiting personal consumption and home cultivation of marijuana were unconstitutional.

Now, adults wanting to cultivate, consume and carry their own cannabis must apply for a permit from the country’s health regulator, the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (Cofepris).

Once permitted, anybody over 18 years of age can possess up to 28 grams of cannabis, the Supreme Court ruled. Smoking in public and in front of children is banned.

“Today is a historic day for liberties,” court president Arturo Zaldivar tweeted after the decision was approved by eight of the 11 judges.

The ruling comes after Congress failed to enact legislation legalizing recreational marijuana use by an April 30 deadline set by the country’s highest court.

The landmark bill was approved by the lower house in March but still needs final approval by the upper house, the Senate.

In April, the ruling majority in the Senate said it was considering postponing the final discussion of the law until September.

Monday’s ruling brings the country a step closer to creating one of the world’s largest legal markets for the plant, but does not authorize the commercialization of cannabis.

“This is a step forward for the rights of cannabis users,” said Zara Snapp, co-founder of Instituto RIA, a Mexican Civil Association that generates high-level research, highlighting and proposing innovative solutions to influence and advocate for public policies within a framework of social justice. “But there’s still work to be done in congress to be able to regulate the market in a socially just way.”

Sources: El PeriodicoEFE

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