Just before today’s celebrated stoners’ holiday, President Enrique Peña Nieto attended the United Nations Drug Policy Summit in New York and said his government will present a proposal to legalize medical marijuana in Mexico. And EPN also plans to raise the current 5 grams of marijuana citizens are allowed to carry for personal use, according to Bloomberg.
In November, Mexico’s Supreme Court gave four people the right to grow weed at home, and at the time, EPN said his stance on legalizing weed could change. But that he had concerns about what that meant – namely, he thought it would lead people to try harder drugs.
Since the ruling, pot advocates have pushed the government to ease marijuana laws. “I give voice to those who have expressed the need to update the regulatory framework to authorize the use of marijuana for medical and scientific ends,” EPN said on Tuesday. He added that in nationwide public forms, people have shown “the need to lift, in accordance with international standards, the amount of marijuana that can be considered for personal use, with the purpose of not criminalizing users.”
During Felipe Calderón’s presidency between 2006 and 2012, tens of thousands of Mexicans suffered as a result of the government cracking down on drugs, including marijuana. Because drug cartel leaders ended up jailed or dead, the groups split into smaller groups and struggled for control, according to CNN. And yet, EPN said that these efforts worked.
“During my administration we have sought to address the phenomenon of drugs in an integrated way with a strategy that avoids generating violence,” Peña Nieto said, Vice reports. “We have detained the main criminal leaders and violence has been confined to specific regions of the country and, as a result, crime has been reduced.”
Marijuana is still a source of revenue for Mexico’s cartels, and Vanda Felbab-Brown – a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington – doesn’t believe legalizing weed will have an “impact on the behavior and revenue streams of criminal groups.”