Mexico is set to legalize marijuana, starting out with medicinal use. That nation’s Supreme Court in August gave the Health Ministry 180 days to publish guidelines for medical cannabis use. This follows a 2018 decision by the Mexican Supreme Court that prohibitions on the cultivation and use of marijuana are unconstitutional.
The 2018 decision, in cases brought by two individual marijuana users, ruled that adults have a fundamental right to personal development and choosing their recreational activities without interference from the government. “This right is not absolute, and the consumption of certain substances may be regulated, but the effects provoked by marijuana do not justify an absolute prohibition of its consumption,” the court ruled, according to a translation provided at the time. Under the Mexican constitution, such rulings apply only to the cases considered. However, they are said to often prod the Mexican Congress to take action.
The 2018 ruling, coupled with the ruling in August, has sparked optimism that cultivation, distribution and use of marijuana will become legal in Mexico by year end, and that recreational use of marijuana will be decriminalized.
According to the office of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, decriminalization of medical cannabis has been called by the interior ministers and they are willing to stop punishment for consumers who use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Mexico is the second-largest cultivator of cannabis in the world. Approximately 16,500-hectares (or about 408,000 acres) of land are used for cannabis cultivation. The climate combined with the availability of an affordable skilled labor force allows growers in Mexico to cultivate large crops of cannabis every year.
A legalized or decriminalized cannabis market in Mexican could generate $12 billion a year in revenues by the year 2029 ,or roughly half the size of the current Canadian cannabis market, according to several sources.
According to a 2018 survey conducted by Mexico’s Center for Social Studies and Public Opinions, half of Mexicans oppose legalization of marijuana and 7 out of 10 disapprove of recreational use. However, nearly 90% said they favored legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes.
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