Mexican Lawmakers File Marijuana Legalization Bill

Not that long ago I wrote that Luxembourg may become the third country to legalize marijuana as the coalition government in the Duchy is drafting legislation which will allow private possession and consumption.

But Luxembourg may yet get leapfrogged in those honors by Mexico, as Mexican lawmakers have filed a bill aimed to legalize marijuana possession and consumption.

It was only a matter of time in Mexico until legalization ever since the nation’s Supreme Court had struck down the “absolute ban” on recreational marijuana. The highest court ruled that the ban “violated a fundamental right to the free development of the personality”. Thus Mexico was in a similar situation as South Africa, where the Supreme Court also ruled that a ban on personal consumption of marijuana is unconstitutional.

More the Mexican Supreme Court went one step further and also ruled that a change in law should made in order to accommodate its ruling. Thus things became a matter of time, even more so due to the country’s populist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, also known as AMLO, is against the country’s long War on Drugs and has declared it over as one of his first moves after being elected.

The Supreme Court gave the lawmakers until end October 2019 to implement new laws.

Almost a year after the Court’s ruling, Senator Julio Ramon Mechaca Salazar has introduced a bill in the Congress. The new bill aims to allow both medical and recreational use of cannabis. Additionally, the bill also includes a section governing a potential future Mexican CBD market and industry.

Regulated Legalization

The bill, in one of the most active narco countries, aims to regulate a nationally regulated industry governed by the nation’s Ministry of Health. Given the historical influence of, and damage done by cartels this makes sense. Then again, the cartels have in recent years largely abandoned marijuana for more lucrative products due to legalization in American states undercutting the cartel price.

The bill is expected to go through committees in the next week(s) and the Mexican Congress will hear from experts what best practices to regulate and tax the cannabis industry are.

Tijuana High Club
Tijuana High Club — photo via Weedmaps

While the bill hasn’t yet cleared the first hurdle, that didn’t prevent the first headshop to open in Tijuana, once known as one of the most dangerous places on earth.

The Tijuana High Club (THC) sells most accessories required to consume marijuana, and also has frequent customers asking about CBD. Yet, most customers of the store still procure their marijuana from nearby San Diego. The store’s operator, Pedro Gastelum, claimed to be the first store providing all required paraphernalia in the country. According to Gastelum until then people had to frequent multiple stores to procure everything, as most stores catered only one or few different products. Tijuana High Club offers glassware, bongs, papers, and much more.

Gastelum was confident the law would soon be voted but actual implementation, and thus legalization of marijuana, could still take a little longer.

”Legal weed here is going to happen, but probably not for another year”
— Pedro Gastelum, Tijuana High Club to Weedmaps.

If ever there were a competition, it would now be between Mexico and Luxembourg to determine which country becomes the third in the world to fully legalize (recreational) marijuana. Maybe shortly followed by New-Zealand, as Jacinda Ardern’s government plans to hold a national referendum on whether to legalize recreational marijuana in 2020.

As tokers, and advocates, of course we see no race other but “When legal?” It’s pretty much the “When Binance?” of marijuana lovers.


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