Mexico to Allow the Medicinal Research of Cannabis
For the last decade, a handful of Latin American countries have taken steps to decriminalize and even legalize the use of cannabis in their country, respectively. Most recently making headlines revolving around pro-cannabis legislation in Mexico. Here is what is going on in ‘El ombligo de la luna.’
Mexico’s New Views on Medicinal Cannabis
Earlier this month, the government of Mexico released the approved regulations for the cultivation, research, and medical use of cannabis in an attempt to sway Congress to finally discuss decriminalizing the use of the cannabis plant throughout the country. The legislation was signed by Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, was announced in the Official Gazette of the Federation. Furthermore, the regulation will allow various companies to perform medical research on cannabis and cannabis-related products.
History of Legalization of Cannabis in Mexico
Mexico is a country that was the second fiddle to the original cannabis prohibition and propaganda of the early 1900s. In conjunction with the United States, the two countries spent hundreds of millions on eradicating wildly-grown cannabis. These acts surely made some strains virtually extinct. However, Mexico is trying to right their wrong a century later. For a few years, a small populace of residents have had access to medical cannabis.
Current Timeline of Cannabis Legalization in Mexico
Last year, cannabis theorists projected Mexico discusses the recreational use of cannabis by the end of 2020. This timeline aligns perfectly with President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s recent legislation revolving around the study of cannabis for medicinal use. Around November of last year, the Senate passed the legalization of cannabis for recreational, scientific, medicinal, and industrial applications. This bill must be discussed once more to gain final approval in the Chamber of Deputies. Originally, the debate was scheduled for the end of 2020. However, the debate was postponed this year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Political theorists believe that the debate will be in favor of the legalization of cannabis. This will surely change the landscape of Mexico’s cannabis industry as well as the war on drugs in the country.
The State of Cannabis in Other Latin Countries
Cannabis legalization is not only on the books to be heard in Mexico but is currently a hot topic in most Latin American political landscapes. Colombia is one of the Latin American countries that got in front of cannabis legalization and decriminalization earlier than their counterparts. Thanks to a statute dating back to 1994, Colombia’s supreme court ruled that cannabis possession should not be deemed a criminal offense. Residents of Colombia are allowed possession of up to 20 grams of cannabis. Individuals who possess more than the mandated 20 grams rarely receive tickets. Instead, they are referred to services that can assist with combating addictive substances.
Brazil is another country in Latin America that has shown promise in making cannabis accessible to its residents. In 2015, Brazil passed a law that allowed cannabis-based substances to be commercialized. Despite these steps towards legalization, the decriminalization of cannabis in Brazil has been stagnant. There are a multitude of laws surrounding cannabis and felonies that are currently on the books. Although these laws are becoming less enforced, removing them is a step in the right direction towards decriminalizing cannabis in Brazil.
There is a multitude of Latin American countries that are making news for their recent pro-cannabis legislation. Some countries like Mexico and Argentina are even slated to allow the use of recreational cannabis for their residents within the next month. Other countries such as Ecuador are addressing the health concerns surrounding the abuse of cannabis. More countries in Latin America are expected to follow suit as it will help deter the issues associated with cannabis and the black market.
For more information on the cannabis landscape in additional Latin countries, be sure to check out our earlier piece here!