Mexico’s Supreme Court rules ban on recreational marijuana unconstitutional

04 Novembre, 2018, 17:53 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Mexico's Supreme Court handed down two rulings today paving the way for non-commercial use by adults. File

Until such rules exist, individuals in Mexico will need to request a judge's court order to exercise the ability to use recreational marijuana (story in Spanish).

Two Supreme Court decisions in Mexico allowing recreational pot use don't mean the country is any closer to commercial sales of the type that have created a booming industry in Canada and some US states.

Medicinal cannabis is legal in Mexico following a law change in 2017, but recreational marijuana use has remained outlawed. The ruling added that it did not authorize individuals to commercialize marijuana or use other narcotics and that the right to recreation is not absolute-the government can still regulate how people use marijuana.

The Mexican Congress now has 90 days to rewrite the nation's drug laws to comply with the rulings, "at which point the reform will assume de jure status", according to Transform.

The previous three Supreme Court rulings on cannabis in Mexico only applied to the litigants themselves - not to all Mexicans. The first one came nearly exactly three years ago, on November 4, 2015. That case was brought by an advocacy group with the disarming name of Mexico United Against Crime on behalf of members of the Mexican Society for Responsible Self-Consumption and Tolerance (SMART), who had been turned down when they applied to COFEPRIS for a license to cultivate cannabis.

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The right to the free development of the personality is a concept from the country's constitution, amounting to something like a right to self-determination.

That creates a precedent other Mexican courts will have to follow. That threshold has now been reached. But it does go beyond mere decriminalization (already law in Mexico since 2009), by actually recognizing personal recreational use as a constitutional right.

"When Congress declares marijuana prohibition unconstitutional in Mexico", the drug policy researcher said, "the federal government of the United States will be the only prohibitionist jurisdiction left in North America".

According to a report from Vox, this is the fifth time the court has issued such a ruling, which under the country's legal system means that the standard set by the rulings will apply to Mexico's entire court system.

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