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Mexico: Supreme Court overturns cannabis conviction

The Mexican Supreme Court ruled that the ban on cannabis was unconstitutional and ordered the state to allow the public to consume for its own use.

The Supreme Court of Mexico crossed the threshold necessary to create case law: five similar decisions in the matter by announcing that he had ruled in favor of two lawsuits brought against the prohibition of the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

A precedent that other Mexican courts will have to follow

"This is a historic day," said Fernando Belaunzaran, a drug reform advocate and member of the leftist opposition Democratic Revolution Party (PRD).

According to the judges' decision, adult citizens have the fundamental right to self-development: a right that allows them to decide what activities they will engage in without their intervention.

"The right is not absolute and the consumption of certain substances can be controlled, but the effects of cannabis use do not justify a total ban on its consumption," says the government.

The court ordered the federal health regulator COFEPRIS to allow people seeking the right to consume grass to do so personally.

In light of this decision, the Mexican Congress will probably be obliged toapprove the legalization and market regulation by law.

Congress should now act to regulate the use of cannabis in Mexico, Belaunzaran said.

Officials of the new government of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said they could take steps to legalize quickly as part of a broader strategy to fight poverty and crime.

AP Photo / Eduardo Verdugo

This case is the fifth in a number of cases, following similar rulings between 2015 and 2017, which under Mexican law create a binding precedent for the rest of the courts and the government. From 2015 , the Mexican Supreme Court had ruled that the prohibition of cultivation and possession of cannabis for its own use was unconstitutional.

The court ordered the state and the Ministry of Health to allow the public to consume cannabis for recreational purposes, for its own use, even though, for the time being, it had not yet approved its sale and its marketing.

Similar decisions have been issued in recent years by the supreme courts of Georgia and D'South Africa , as well as in 9 different countries: Alaska in 1975, Germany in 1994, Argentina in 2009, République tchèque in 2013, Colombia 2015, Switzerland 2017.

Today, the consumption of minors in Mexico has increased despite the ban, that is to say that the ban has not prevented, quite the contrary, it failed, on the other hand the Mexico has long been a source of contraband in the United States. Would this decriminalization be a solution? The Mexican Congress has 90 days to repeal the laws.

Mexico: Supreme Court overturns cannabis conviction
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