A Mexican senator introduced a bill to legalize marijuana on Sept. 3, 2019, with just one month before a Supreme Court-imposed deadline to end prohibition.
Sen. Julio Menchaca Salazar of the government's ruling National Regeneration Movement, or MORENA party, filed the legislation, which would provide for the legal possession, cultivation, and consumption of cannabis for personal use by adults.
El senador @Julio_Menchaca presentó una iniciativa para reformar los artículos 235 y 247 de la Ley General de #Salud y regular el autoconsumo de #cannabis con fines lúdicos o recreativos para personas mayores de edad. https://t.co/7PnIkEPBsa
— Senadores Morena (@MorenaSenadores) September 3, 2019
During a floor speech, Salazar, who is the head of the Senate Justice Committee, argued that prohibition has only played into the hands of criminal enterprises. He also pointed to state-legal marijuana markets in the U.S. as examples of effective regulatory schemes.
The bill's introduction comes a week after the Senate in late August 2019 announced a new series of events meant to foster dialogue about the objectives and challenges of implementing a legal cannabis market. That includes a panel that will be led by a former Obama White House drug czar who once said that the word “legalization” is not even in his vocabulary.
The chamber held similar events in August in order to gain public input on legalization.
Sens. Miguel Ángel Navarro Quintero, Rubén Rocha Moya and Lucía Trasviña Waldenrath, also members of MORENA signed on as co-sponsors of Salazar's legislation.
While talk of legalization has been ongoing in Mexico, efforts to create and pass reform legislation have increased since the country's Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that the ban on personal use and cultivation of cannabis is unconstitutional.
Salazar said in April 2019 that lawmakers would be working on legalization legislation over the summer recess.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's administration also backs legalization.
Feature image: Mexico's Supreme Court set a deadline of October 2019 to legalize cannabis. On Sept. 3, a senator from President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's National Regeneration Movement, or MORENA party, introduced a bill in Congress' upper chamber to legalize marijuana and hemp. (Photo via Shutterstock)
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