Arizona’s southern neighbor will be legalizing recreational marijuana use this year. Mexico lawmakers have until December 15 to pass a marijuana bill.
Two years ago, the Mexico Supreme Court decided that a ban on marijuana was unconstitutional and ordered Mexican lawmakers to legalize marijuana, LA Times reported.
After years of poor drug policies that fueled cartel wars, the country will likely become one of the biggest legal cannabis markets in the world.
The approaching deadline has increased debates over what cannabis legalization should look like in Mexico and who will benefit from it.
A bill that would allow companies to sell cannabis to the public, limit home cultivation to six plants, and require consumers to obtain a license from the government is expected to pass in the Senate this month and then head to the lower house of Congress.
“There has been a lot of interference … transnational companies that have wanted to influence our decisions,” said Senate leader Ricardo Monreal. “But we make the final decision.”
Mexico’s political parties all believe that marijuana legalization will reduce the cartels’ violence throughout the country.
Almost 50% of the country’s inmates are imprisoned for drug crimes. Nearly 60% are imprisoned for marijuana possession and, in many cases, for possession of less than $25 worth of the drug.