Mexico To Legalize Weed by October 2019?
Mexico to legalize weed before the U.S.? It’s looking that way.
Editor’s Note: In August 2019, The Mexican Supreme Court issued a ruling stating that lawmakers had six months to finalize rules and regulations surrounding cannabis use. Further, they announced on October 1st that aside from legal home-grows, cannabis would he handled by a State-run organization called “Cannsalud.”
Mexican cannabis has been making Americans nervous since 1937. Now in 2019, Mexican lawmakers are truly about to put the pressure on their northern neighbor. Why? Because Mexico is likely going to be the next country to legalize weed. Following repeated Supreme Court rulings, Mexican legislators will work on a bill this summer to fully legalize recreational cannabis across the country.
Cannabis is Already Constitutionally Legal in Mexico
Mexico has already had medical cannabis laws since June 2017. Patients with conditions like epilepsy, chronic pain, cancer, migraines, depression, glaucoma, and ADHD, among others, can get a prescription for medical cannabis. When it comes to recreational cannabis, however, the Mexican Supreme Court turned the tides with a ruling in October of 2018.
Five separate Supreme Court judgements have set the precedent that the ban on recreational cannabis is unconstitutional. That means that recreational cannabis is constitutional already in Mexico.
However, that leaves the problem of a huge potential market without a regulatory system in place. To preempt that problem, the court set an October 2019 deadline for lawmakers to propose a legalization bill. It now falls to the Senate to draft legislation to bring federal laws in line with the Supreme Court’s ruling.
What Would it Mean for Mexico to Legalize Weed?
It will be a big deal for Mexico to legalize weed. After all, 80 percent of Mexican voters support legalization. Their support is fuelled in part by Mexico’s ongoing drug war in which cartels earn an estimated $13-$50 billion annually by smuggling cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and cannabis. The war has ravaged large parts of the country for the last 13 years. Over 120,000 have been murdered, and a further 27,000 are missing.
While legalizing cannabis would only cut into a percentage of cartels’ profits, it will also significantly stimulate Mexico’s legal economy. This could provide a new legal job market that may help reduce crime across the country.
US Faces Pressure From Both Sides of the Border
With legal cannabis at both of America’s borders, Mexico’s impending legalization ups the pressure on the US government. When Canada legalized in October 2018, it became only the second country worldwide to legalize recreational use, behind Uruguay.
However, Mexico’s upcoming law will make it – with a population of 129.2 million – by far the most populated country to legalize. Mexico’s population would also make it the world’s largest legal cannabis market. This adds serious energy to the global push to relax cannabis laws. After all, 40 countries have legalized medical cannabis, including the UK, Thailand, South Africa, and Australia.
Thirty-three US states and DC have legalized some form of medical cannabis. Ten have legalized adult recreational use, the plant remains Schedule I at the federal level. This is despite surveys that indicate 61 percent of American voters are now in favor of legalization, with that number steadily climbing.
This would be very good news for expanding multinational cannabis firms like Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth, who have already moved to take advantage of the new market. Aurora has bought out Mexico’s first licensed distributor, Farmacias Magistrales. Canopy Growth, in turn, already has holdings in several Latin American countries and plans to move into the Mexican market.
Legalization is Imperative for US to Compete in North American Economy
Those with a stake in the American economy may be nervous about the plans in Mexico to legalize weed. The move will open up multi-billion dollar cannabis markets on both sides of America’s border, untaxed and unregulated by the US. And with America’s current cannabis policies, it will be very difficult to keep cannabis and its profits from flowing through the US illegally, especially through American cannabis tourists venturing into bordering nations.
By failing to create their own regulated recreational cannabis market, the US will miss out on a huge economic opportunities. America has the choice to tighten their security to continue fighting an uphill battle. Or they can embrace legalization and the taxable profits that come with it.
To the majority of American voters, the choice is already clear. Should Mexico’s legislation go through in October, more Americans may start to see the sense of legalizing cannabis in 2020’s highly anticipated election.