When is Mexico Voting on Cannabis Legalization?

When it comes to adult-use cannabis legalization, Mexico has experienced more twists and turns than most other countries.

Cannabis prohibition started in Mexico in the 1920s. At the time there was a big global push, largely led by prohibitionists in the United States, to ban cannabis.

The policy was in place for many years, and to some extent is still in place. However, in 2018 Mexico’s Supreme Court struck down prohibition, at least as it applies to personal use.

The ruling was fairly general and did not specifically set up a framework for legalization involving possession and cultivation limits, or a regulated industry.

Instead, lawmakers were tasked with implementing the Court’s ruling via legislative action.

Deadlines Have Come and Gone

At the time of the Supreme Court ruling, lawmakers in Mexico were given a one year deadline by the Court to pass a legalization measure.

Unfortunately, that year came and went and lawmakers failed to pass a measure and had to request an extension. 

Then, due to the rise of the pandemic, another extension was requested. And then another. Over three years have passed, and a legalization measure has remained elusive.

The pandemic is definitely partially to blame. However, political infighting regarding cannabis policy is also certainly to blame as well.

Mexico has a prime opportunity to legalize cannabis before a vast majority of other countries and reap the benefits of getting ahead of other nations. 

Yet, that window is closing more and more with every passing year.

A Vote Next Month?

Mexico’s current legislative session only goes until the end of next month. Will lawmakers finally get a bill to the finish line after so many false starts?

Last Month Mexico Senate President Olga Sánchez Cordero indicated that a vote on cannabis legalization would occur in the “coming weeks or months.”

Mexico’s Senate Majority Leader Ricardo Monreal Avila stated this month that lawmakers are only “one to two weeks out” from finalizing a measure.

At this point, with so many starts and stops over the course of three years, it’s understandable if people are skeptical of an actual vote occurring next month.

With that being said, the political will seems to be enough in Mexico to get a measure passed, it’s just a matter of including provisions in the measure that enough lawmakers can agree on.

Hopefully that happens next month because cannabis consumers in Mexico deserve to be governed by sensible cannabis policies.

Johnny Green

Johnny Green is the Media and Content Director for the International Cannabis Business Conference and has blogged about cannabis since January 2010.

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