The Mexican Senate accepted a landmark hashish legalization invoice final week, bringing the nation one step nearer to creating the most important authorized cannabis market on the planet. The measure now heads to Mexico’s decrease legislative chamber, as activists assert that the invoice is flawed.
Mexico’s Supreme Court docket dominated in 2018 that legal guidelines prohibiting leisure hashish are unconstitutional and ordered legislative reform. The nation’s lawmakers are actually working to codify that call earlier than the present legislative session ends in December. Beneath the invoice accepted by senators final week, adults could be permitted to own as much as 28 grams of hashish and domesticate a restricted variety of hashish crops for private use.
Activists Say Invoice Is Flawed
Nonetheless, some activists, together with Julio Salazar, a senior lawyer and legalization advocate with the nonprofit group Mexico United Towards Crime, have mentioned that the invoice is flawed, favoring giant companies over small companies and household farms. The measure additionally does little to strip the hashish commerce from the cartels in Mexico, the place greater than 100,000 folks have been killed in drug-related violence in recent times.
“I’m undecided if the initiative being pushed by Congress truly makes issues higher,” Salazar said earlier than the Senate vote. “It makes a hashish marketplace for the wealthy and continues to make use of felony legislation to perpetuate a drug struggle that has broken the poorest folks with the least alternatives.”
The invoice would enable non-public corporations to promote hashish to the general public, however customers could be required to register for a authorities license to buy hashish, a provision many say would perpetuate the recognition of the nation’s illicit market. One other requirement for a track-and-trace system just like one established in California is seen by many as unworkable in a largely rural nation.
“The laws being pushed took the worst components of all of the completely different fashions,” Salazar mentioned. “They took the patron registry from Uruguay that’s extreme. They included the traceability requirement from america, which is sensible over there as a result of regulation is native however not in Mexico the place it might be federal. And we additionally copied the shortage of reparations to assist indigenous communities or these most affected by the struggle on medication.”
Zara Snapp, co-founder of the RIA Institute, a Mexico Metropolis-based drug coverage analysis and advocacy group, believes that invoice will exclude small companies and presently illicit cultivators from collaborating on the planet’s largest authorized hashish market as soon as the legislation goes into impact.
“We wish a authorized framework that may deliver a few of these gamers in from the unlawful market right into a authorized one,” Snapp mentioned. “The acquisition worth must be low sufficient to undercut the unlawful marketplace for customers. … You even have to verify there are sufficient entry factors for [growers] to maneuver over.”
Snap mentioned that if 30 p.c of the presently illicit growers could be introduced right into a regulated market, “that’s 30 p.c which might be paying taxes and out of the shadows, when earlier than it was zero p.c.”
Supreme Court docket Deadline Looms
Mexico’s Supreme Court docket has set a December 15 deadline for lawmakers to legalize hashish for leisure use by adults. However 60 p.c of the nation believes that hashish ought to stay unlawful, a statistic that’s influencing how the legislature approaches the duty.
“Public opinion is essential proper now as a result of it impacts how politicians suppose,” Snapp mentioned. “However what the politicians want to recollect is that we’re not at this level due to public opinion — we’re right here as a result of the Supreme Court docket dominated on a number of events that any and all Mexicans have the precise to the free consumption of hashish, and inhibiting private use infringes that proper.”