Our neighboring countries are getting ahead of us as Canada looks to legalize recreational use of cannabis on a national level, and now Mexico appears to be well on their way to legalizing medicinal use. Currently it is legal to import CBD-only medical marijuana products for patients, which are qualified on a case by case basis – a law that was put into place last year. The new bill would allow medical marijuana for a much larger patient base – and would make it legal to cultivate for both medicinal and research purposes.
The Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill, at 98-7, and will now head off to the lower Chamber of Deputies for consideration where – if passed – it will become law. The bill not only would allow a number of patients to access full strength marijuana, but it would also allow the Health Department to “design public policies to regulate the medicinal use of this plant and its derivatives” and legalize the sale, cultivation and import of marijuana products with 1% or less THC.
“It’s been years that we’ve been fighting for acknowledgment and approval and recognition of the medical and therapeutic uses of cannabis, and today we finally have something,” director of drug policy for Mexico Lisa Sanchez said.
While this is a step forward, it does not necessarily address issues that some lawmakers would like to see considered – including individual cultivation of marijuana. There has been a lot of discussion in Mexico surrounding cannabis law in recent years – it was just last year that the Mexican Supreme Court granted four individuals the right to grow their own cannabis for personal consumption under the grounds that prohibition of cannabis was unconstitutional. Unfortunately that court ruling did not translate into a law that would make it legal for all citizens.
“To celebrate that we are making a material change on marijuana would be fooling ourselves at this stage of the game,” Rios Piter was quoted as saying.
It seems likely that this bill will easily be passed and become law after seeing just how much support it had in the Senate. Making it legal for people to cultivate cannabis for medicinal purposes will help thousands of patients – and growing it for research purposes will be beneficial to providing the information that other governments, like the United States, are waiting on before making their call on medical marijuana. Hopefully this is only the beginning of what will be extreme and positive cannabis reform for Mexico in the near future.