Mexico’s Supreme Court Decriminalizes Recreational Use of Marijuana

Mexico’s Supreme Court on June 28 decriminalized the private recreational use of marijuana for adults, declaring the current prohibition to be unconstitutional.

In an 8-3 decision, the court ruled that adults would be able to apply for permits from the health secretariat to personally consume cannabis and to cultivate them at home.

“The Court reiterates and reaffirms that its only commitment is to the Constitution and that it acts with full independence and autonomy,” Supreme Court President Arturo Zaldivar said.

Think tank Instituto RIA co-founder called the ruling “a step forward for the rights of cannabis users” but acknowledged that “there’s still work to be done in Congress to be able to regulate the market in a socially just way.”

The ruling came after a legalization bill was stalled in Congress, missing the April 30 deadline set by the Supreme Court.

The country’s lower house approved the bill but still needs final approval from the Senate.

The legislation would allow users with a permit to carry up to 28 grams of marijuana and to grow as many as eight plants at home. Currently, carrying over five grams is illegal.

Supporters of the legislation hope that it could reduce some of the violence related to illegal drugs trade, which have taken thousands of lives each year in Mexico.

If passed, the legislation would make Mexico one of the few countries to legalize cannabis for recreational use.

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