Cannabis may be legal in Mexico before the end of this year. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is supportive of a proposal designed under a 2018 Supreme Court mandate that ruled bans on personal use and possession of marijuana illegal. If reforms are made, adult recreational use and commercial sale would be allowed.
Despite making its way through several committees this year, the deadline for decision on the reforms by the Senate has been extended multiple times—right now, it stands at December 15.
Meanwhile, for the past eight months, pro-cannabis activists have been growing marijuana around a famous Mexico City monument, the Ángel de Independencia, a short drive from the Senate of the Republic. What began as a small crop has expanded to at least 700 plants, including some taller than the average human.
The LA Times reports that, assuming reforms are made, Mexico could “become the biggest legal cannabis market in the world.”
The outlet notes that an estimated 200,000 families already grow marijuana in Mexico. Will small-scale farmers be protected by this new legislation? Or would foreign marijuana firms see the bulk of the benefits?
What’s likely to pass, according to Senate leader Ricardo Monreal, is a bill permitting recreational use that also includes a green light for private companies to sell marijuana.
Still, major figures in the movement to legalize marijuana say the people of Mexico will benefit: “The first thing that will happen is that no Mexican will die or go to jail because of this plant,” Guanajuato businessman Guillermo Nieto told Mexico News Daily. The paper also points out that Nieto is especially “well-positioned to cash in on legalization.”