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Monday, October 14, 2013

Mexico City May Be Next to Beat California to Marijuana Legalization

Posted By on Mon, Oct 14, 2013 at 12:21 PM

click to enlarge That's a lot of weed (potentially)
  • That's a lot of weed (potentially)

Nobody is pleased with the current status of drug reform in California -- not the courts, which have put the state on notice to drain its overcrowded prisons; not police and prosecutors, who complain of vague rules that are hard to enforce; and not reformers, who watch the Golden State stall and obfuscate meaningful change to drug laws while other states take action to their economic benefit.

Add Mexico City to the list of places taking more action on marijuana legalization than California -- the birthplace of medical marijuana. Legislators in North America's largest city are moving on plans to allow adults to possess up to 1 ounce of the drug, which would be bought and sold -- though not at a profit -- at cannabis clubs, according to reports.

Now we know what that border wall is for (other than volleyball): to keep radical ideas out.

Drug-fueled violence continues to plague Mexico, where citizen militias have begun to spring up in response to the government's inability to stem cartel violence -- and in at least one case, a militia helped itself to a police department's weapons cache.

Like the United States, Mexico's is a federal system, meaning states are free to pass their own laws independently of one another. The legislation, to be filed at the end of October (and influenced by the legalization measures passed in Washington and Colorado), would allow anyone to carry up to 1 ounce of cannabis and allow others to buy it at cannabis clubs set up for the purpose, TIME reported.

Legal weed in D.F. won't do much to stem methamphetamine wars in Michoacan, of course. However, the author of the legalization legislation, D.F. Assemblyman Vidal Llerenas, point out that taking any part of drug profits out of cartel pockets is a step forward.

If passed, the law would only apply in Mexico City. But Mexico City is huge, considering there are 8.8 million people in the city proper, and 20.1 million people in the metro area. In other words, if weed was legal in D.F., it would mark the single biggest step forward, population wise, for the end of marijuana prohibition.

California, of course, would be bigger. How's that going, anyhow? Not well: Another legalization measure for 2014 was submitted to the Secretary of State within the last week, but without a very well-heeled political venture capitalist, it's unlikely to qualify for the ballot.

In other words, Mexico is kicking our ass -- and, if the measure passes and a legal weed industry flourishes in D.F., they could be taking our jobs.

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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.


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