It’s been a huge week for marijuana reform in North America.
First, the Canadians put forth a proposal for a progressive and open recreational cannabis industry. But the only thing that tops proposed legislation is actual legislation, and that prize goes to Mexico for medical marijuana.
Yesterday, senators voted 98-7 to adopt medical cannabis into Mexican law. The bill opens the door for the Ministry of Health to create a framework for using, importing, and producing marijuana and other cannabis-based pharmaceuticals. As well, growing pot for medical and scientific purposes will be permitted. The legislation will now go to the lower Chamber of Deputies for further consideration.
Some of the senators who chimed in after the vote praised the choice to allow cannabis as medicine in Mexico. One of the main catalysts for the change, according to Senator Cristina Diaz, is that prohibition has “generated high levels of violence, more than 100,000 deaths in the systematic violation of human rights.”
Other senators and civil rights groups felt that the legislation did not go far enough. They commented that it was only a tiny step forward for a country that has been riddled with a violent, drug-related, organized crime epidemic for decades. Senator Miguel Barbosa said that the legislation was “well below the expectations of society.”
One of the other vocal senators against the bill was Armando Rios Piter, who said that this was a “tiny” step forward to repair a failed drug policy. He has called for a discussion on regulating opium production to quell a significant source of violence in the nation.
The President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, is still not in favor of adult-use marijuana in his country. However, earlier in the year, Nieto did propose further decriminalizing the amount of cannabis for personal possession to 28 grams, from the current 5-gram limit.
The serious discussion for adult-use cannabis in Mexico will have to wait. For the moment, Mexicans can revel in the fact that they have arrived at the party. Their gift bag contains the most cutting edge natural medicine the world has to offer — and that, is muy bueno.