Ruling boosts Medical Marijuana prospects in Mexico

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on November 06, 2015.

As the Mexican Supreme Court has delivered a landmark judgment, challenging the nation's stringent substance abuse laws, which would pave way for legalization of medical marijuana in the country. The court's criminal chamber ruled that individuals should have the right to grow and distribute marijuana for their personal use. Without striking down the existing laws, the ruling opens scope for further negotiation and dialogue that would help legalize medical marijuana in Mexico.

The Supreme Court voted 4 to 1 to rule that members of a cannabis club are allowed to grow marijuana for their personal use. The club members - Josefina Ricarño, Armando Santacruz, José Pablo Girault and Juan Francisco Torres Landa Ruffo, had applied for a license from Mexico's drug regulatory office, but were denied. The SC ruled that they would be allowed to grow, transport and use marijuana for recreational purposes.

It remains a fact that drug trafficking remains massive in Mexico and flow of drugs to the United States continues unabated. Mexico, which has one of the most conservative drug laws in Latin America, has always been critical of Washington's strategy in the drug war. A change in its drug policy, may help Mexico to fight the crime in an effective way.

In Latin America, Uruguay had legalized marijuana in 2013, while Bolivia allows traditional use of coca, the plant used to make cocaine. The Supreme Court of Brazil has recently debated the decriminalization of marijuana. Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos too supports this move despite the fact that he remains a close ally of the United States. Many in Latin America have sought a change in marijuana policy.

Marijuana use is no longer seen as a crime in the United States with several states legalizing medical marijuana and some of them allowing the recreational use too. Although it still remains prohibited under federal law, things may change sooner or later with the Presidential polls aspirants coming out in support of the pot. Many in Mexico too believe that legalizing marijuana will significantly reduce drug violence and weaken the gangs indulged in criminal activities.

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