On the 13th of December, the Mexican senate made a bold move of legalizing medical marijuana in a landslide vote with a resounding 98-7 vote following a national debate on the country’s narcotics policy.
This however was an outcome of numerous advocates including a family in northern Mexico with a young epileptic girl (Graciela Elizalde) who won a court battle to import a cannabis-based treatment to stop her daily seizures.
In November 2015, the Supreme Court authorized four individuals to grow and smoke marijuana for recreational purposes a move that is believed to have paved way for broader decriminalization.
The president of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto has been a vocal supporter of medical cannabis and has been greatly involved in the push of the proposal to legalize.
How legal is medical marijuana in New Mexico
The new relaxed drug law allows at the very least for patients to receive the medicine they need without fear of persecution hence benefiting patients suffering from some chronic diseases. In addition, the law permits the use and production of marijuana for scientific and medical purposes.
In this case, the measure directs the Health Department to design public policies to regulate the medicinal use of the marijuana plant and its derivatives. The bill also permits the buying, selling, importation and exportation of products containing the psychoactive ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with concentrations of 1% THC or less.
Cannabis is to be strictly cultivated by the government, to ensure proper chemical levels and a secure supply. In addition to supplying the medical community with this plant, Mexico will also begin scientific research, meant to further the exploration of just how cannabis can help and which conditions it most effectively treats.
Cons of the Mexican bill
Although the bill was passed and medical marijuana is now legal in Mexico, some lawmakers argued that the bill does not go far enough because it does not cover individual cultivation of marijuana. One of the reasons for passing this bill was to help eliminate the wide spread cartel violence and organized crime in this Spanish state.
Therefore, the legalization of medical marijuana is hoped to help decrease their activity. However, many lawmakers and advocates believe that the bill falls short of the most important thing which is widespread recreational legalization.
Senator Angelica de la Pena Gomez, of the PRD, conceded to the fact that prohibition has generated high levels of violence and more than 100,000 deaths not to mention the systematic violation of human rights.
Even with all these arguments taking rounds, the truth still stands that the legalization of medical marijuana in Mexico is a big step for the government and a major victory for Mexican citizens in need of alternative medicines such as cannabis. It is however important to note that recreational marijuana use it still broadly prohibited in Mexico.
Mexico’s legalization of medical cannabis leaves the United States in a tricky spot with its federal government being the only one still clinging to the prohibiting of this therapeutic drug.
While some policymakers and politicians feel that widespread legalization is a drastic move, it’s hard to deny that the measure is a major step forward for Mexico. However, this does not mean that it is a done deal because the President has to submit the bill to the lower Chamber of Deputies for approval.