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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Mexico Supreme Court Says Marijuana Should Be Legal

Posted By on Wed, Nov 4, 2015 at 1:11 PM

click to enlarge Cannabis wins in Mexico City. - CAITLIN DONOHUE
  • Caitlin Donohue
  • Cannabis wins in Mexico City.
Mexico's Supreme Court delivered a big blow to the drug war on Wednesday.

In a lawsuit brought by members of a Mexican cannabis club and "anti-crime" group, justices in Mexico City declared that citizens in that country should be allowed to grow and use marijuana for personal use.

The ruling does not change cannabis's outlaw status in Mexico, which has some of the strictest rules on drugs in Latin America (and also some of the worst drug trafficking-related violence, as well as one of the closest relationships to the United States; do you see a pattern emerging?).

But it certainly opens the door to legalization in Mexico, where — just like in the U.S. — citizens want cops to deal with something other than weed.

“We want to force Congress to pursue kidnapping, murderers, rapists and other criminals,” one of the plaintiffs in the suit said.

An outfit called "Mexicans United Against Crime" brought the suit, an appeal of a decision by Mexican health officials to deny the outfit a license to grow cannabis.

As The New York Times reported, "the ruling does not strike down current drug laws," but it does "[lay] the groundwork for a wave of legal actions that could ultimately rewrite them."

It's not clear how heavily marijuana factors into the cartel violence and attendant corruption that appears to be continuing unabated.

The cartels are still in charge — recently, the notorious kingpin of the Sinaloa cartel, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a maximum security prison with clear assistance from authorities — but growers have said that creeping legalization in the United States has led narcotrafficantes to focus on other drugs like heroin and methamphetamine. 

And while the court case has changed nothing yet, Mexico thumbing its nose at American federal drug policy — which other countries like Uruguay, which legalized marijuana in 2013, has done — is by far the biggest repudiation of what a majority of American votes view as a failed policy.

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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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