Party of Mexico’s president-elect wants legalized marijuana

Blanche Robertson
November 11, 2018

The party of the president-elect of Mexico submitted legislation earlier this week that would legalize the possession, growth, use and sale of cannabis.

The bill, which is backed by Senator Olga Sanchez, Mexico President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's choice for interior minister, could be presented this week, two legislative sources said. People could carry more than an ounce if they requested a permit to do so under the proposal. She is now a senator for Lopez Obrador's leftist Morena party.

The new bill would allow Mexican residents to grow up to 20 plants on private property as well as produce up to 480 grams annually.

Efforts to address those issues, noted the International Monetary Fund, will be complicated by a sizable public debt that "limits space for social and infrastructure spending", both pillars of Lopez Obrador's national development program.

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Sales of marijuana would be regulated by a special agency, which would oversee purity, packaging, and quality. Providing pot to minors would be illegal, and driving while under the influence of marijuana would be subject to prosecution.

MORENA's coalition has a majority in both houses, but the alliance includes a conservative party that has in the past opposed some socially progressive policies.

With the legalization of adult-use weed, Mexico would join two other countries where the drug is fully legal - Uruguay and Canada - and 10 USA states. Small amounts of cannabis have also been decriminalized and some medical patients have been given permits to grow and possess small amounts. The country has seen an increase in support for recreational cannabis in recent years as violence and crime becomes greater.

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