Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice ruled Wednesday in favor of three plaintiffs who challenged the constitutionality of the General Health Law, which currently prohibits the production, transport, and consumption of cannabis, opening the door to the legalization of recreational marijuana use. This is Mexico's fifth ruling in this kind of instance, setting an important precedent.
"The fundamental right to the free development of the personality allows adults to decide -without any interference- what types of recreational activities they wish to engage in," the court argued.
The Supreme Court’s decision obliges the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies to modify the legal framework for drug use in the country. Since September, both instances of the legislative power are controlled by Morena, which will be the ruling party since December, when president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) takes office. AMLO and members of his future cabinet have spoken out in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana production and consumption as a way to curb violence.
Canada, Uruguay, and several states in the United States already allow the sale and recreational use of marijuana. In the case of Mexico, several experts, academics and politicians have long demanded changes in drug-related legislation. A renewal of current laws is seen as an important step to stop the bleeding derived from the war on drug trafficking, a policy that has prevailed in the region for decades.
"Based on other countries' experiences we estimate that the approval of the liberalization of marijuana use would work in favor of reducing violence and insecurity," said Alfonso Durazo, confirmed by Lopez Obrador as Mexico's next Secretary of Public Security. The Secretariat of Public Security was dissolved in 2013 by president Enrique Peña Nieto but AMLO has vowed to bring it back. Durazo has stressed Mexico's new security strategy will rely first and foremost on a corruption probe into security forces.
Morena legislator Mario Delgado also announced that his parliamentary group is preparing a bill to regulate the recreational use of marijuana, which will include amendments to the General Health Law and the Federal Penal Code.