Mexico Senator Advocates for Cannabis Reform ahead of December Deadline

A proposed measure to legalize and regulate cannabis commerce in Mexico is being passed about among the country’s senators. A top legislator believes the plan is to vote on the draft before the imposed December 15 deadline.

While the bill hasn’t been formally proposed just yet, the draft bill mainly reflects the Mexican Senate’s more immediate version of the bill from late last year, albeit with some small changes.

Senate Majority Leader Ricardo Monreal Avila from the current majority MORENA party has been advocating for cannabis reform and later stated that there’s cooperation among leading congressmen to focus on cannabis legislation and cannabis commerce.

The Mexican Supreme Court held nearly three years ago that the country’s ban on the private possession and cultivation of cannabis was unconstitutional. Congressmen were then forced to enact the policy change. However, Congress has since been unable to come to a consensus on legislation to organize a cannabis program.

At Mexico legislators’ request, the court granted to elongate its deadline for Congress to end the prohibition on various occasions. However, because of the countless failed tries to meet the aforementioned deadlines, justices eventually voted to end cannabis criminalization on their own.

Previously, Monreal stated that the stage is set for legislators to pass a cannabis legalization bill amid the new legislative session after countless attempts in recent years fell short of being passed into law.

Under the draft measure currently being circulated, adults 18 and older would be allowed to purchase and possess up to 28 grams of cannabis and cultivate up to six plants for private use.

Members of the Mexican Senate Health and Justice Committees were pushed to formulate the blueprint of a cannabis law. 

The text of the bill states that the intent of the cannabis reform is to encourage public health, human rights, and sustainability and enhance the living conditions of the citizens who live in the United Mexican States.

Further, the measure would prevent and battle the outcomes of problematic use of psychoactive cannabinoids (THC) and subscribe to the conversion of the crime rate associated with drug trafficking, strengthening peace, safety, and self and community wellness.

Regulators would be in charge of producing distinct rules to regulate cannabis for adult use, studies, and industrial (Hemp) production.

The measure would install a Mexican Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis, a body supported by the Ministry of Health. It would also be liable for issuing cannabis licenses, superintending the program, and encouraging public education operations around cannabis.

Retail cannabis licenses would need to be distributed within 18 months of the enactment of the pro-cannabis law.

To compensate for the losses generated by cannabis prohibition, the measure states that at least 40 percent of cannabis cultivation licenses would need to go to communities impacted by cannabis criminalization for at least the first five years of the law’s implementation. After five years, at least 20 percent of retail cannabis licenses would need to be stored for social equity applicants.

Once the Mexican Supreme Court independently refuted cannabis prohibition earlier this year, cannabis advocates emphasized that the decision underlines the need for lawmakers to quickly pass a bill to complete a complete system of legal cannabis and regulated sales. Alternatively, they want to guarantee that an equitable retail cannabis market is established, discuss the harms of cannabis criminalization on marginalized communities, and promote individual freedoms.

Cannabis advocates are charmed to see the Senate administration take precariously the need to form regulations and provide access to cannabis for adults, although they have identified some prerequisites as questionable.

For instance, possessing more than 200 grams of cannabis could still result in prison time.

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