Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has promised to respect a court ruling telling the government and lawmakers to legalize recreational marijuana.
On Monday, Mexico’s Supreme Court declared the prohibition of recreational marijuana use in Mexico unconstitutional. Users over the age of 18 can now consume marijuana and possess up to 28 grams at home.
Marijuana legalization is Mexico is underway.
At least temporarily.
“Of course we’re going to respect what the court has decided and we’re going to evaluate. We’re going to see what effects it has,” Lopez Obrador said at a regular news conference.
But the sweeping legalization bill has been stalled in the Mexican Senate since its approval from the Lower House of Congress in March.
Lopez Obrador is keeping a keen eye on how the change affects Mexican citizens. His focus is on whether the lax approach to the drug will lead to a spike in addiction.
“If we see … that it’s not working to address the serious problem of drug addiction, that it’s not working to stop violence, then we would act,” the president said, suggesting he could send a new bill to Congress or push for a public referendum.
Adults who want to grow and consume their own cannabis can now apply for permits from the health secretariat. However, criminal penalties for possessing more than five grams of marijuana or selling the drug remain in place.
“Today is a historic day for freedoms. After a long journey, this Supreme Court consolidates the right to the free development of the personality for the recreational use of marijuana”, Arturo Zaldívar, the presiding minister of the court, said following the court’s decision.