The green light was given in the Chamber of Deputies, when overall approval was given to the bill that paves the way for recreational use and industrialization of marijuana.
With 316 votes in favor, 129 against, and 23 abstentions, the Chamber in full session approved the bill proposed on March 8.
Now, the deputies are getting ready to vote on the specifics. If the majority of the Chamber in full session gives the green light to this phase, then the bill will be sent to the Federal Executive Branch to make the decree official. Otherwise, the document will be sent to the Senate of the Republic, where modifications or objections will be reviewed.
10 things you should know about the new marijuana law
So far, the bill establishes the following general points on the use and commercialization of marijuana in Mexico.
- Recognizing the right of people over the age of 18 to consume marijuana for recreational purposes, provided that third parties are not affected.
- Allowing them to carry up to 28 grams of the substance for personal use.
- Requiring that people apply for an annual license and renewal to be able to have marijuana plants at home, and penalizing those who fail to comply with this regulation with a fine of 27,000 pesos and cancellation of the permit.
- Promoting the immediate release of people prosecuted or sentenced for crimes decriminalized by the new rules.
- Considering the possibility of allowing cannabis associations to grow and own up to four plants per member, without exceeding a total of 50.
- Banning the use of cannabis by people under the age of 18, as well as in workplaces, or public or private schools.
- Preventing the sale of cannabis through self-service machines, by mail, telephone, internet, or through any other non-personalized means.
- Reversing the founding of the Mexican Cannabis Institute and instead establishing the National Council against Addictions (CONADIC) as the institution responsible for marijuana in Mexico.
- Making CONADIC the body responsible for authorizing and revoking licenses for the production, distribution, commercialization, and sale of marijuana.
- Giving CONADIC the power to limit or prohibit the procurement, possession, and consumption of marijuana for people between the ages of 18 and 25, for specific health reasons.
Drugs during the pandemic
Due to Covid-19, drug dealers have been forced to find new routes and methods, and trafficking activities via the dark net and mailings are likely to increase despite the disruption of the postal supply chain on an international level. This is according to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
“Poverty, limited education, and social marginalization continue to be important factors that increase the risk of substance use disorders,” also notes the UNODC.
This institution adds that marginalized and vulnerable groups may also face obstacles in obtaining treatment services, due to discrimination and stigma.