In September, a judge in Mexico ruled medical marijuana legal for one 8-year-old girl; two months later, the country took a step toward legalizing marijuana. The New York Times reports that on Wednesday, the Mexican Supreme Court said people should have the right to grow weed for personal use, but this doesn’t mean that previous laws have been amended to reflect this. Marijuana cultivation and sale has been illegal since 1926.
Nevertheless, this change is important in a country that has strict drug laws and has only seen violence surge with their U.S.-backed drug on wars. For drug traffickers, marijuana continues to be one of the biggest moneymakers. “We are killing ourselves to stop the production of something that is heading to the U.S., where it’s legal,” said Armando Santacruz, a plaintiff in the case.
As a result, a lot of resources are being used to punish those who grow or use marijuana. Based on research by Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas law professor Catalina Pérez Correa González, state and federal prisons are 60 percent filled with people jailed for weed-related offenses.
It is not clear if marijuana will be completely legalized, like in Chile, Uruguay and parts of the U.S., but as of now there’s a lot standing in the way of that happening. The NYT points out, there isn’t an overwhelming number of Mexicans who are in favor of legalizing marijuana. And there’s also a lot of uncertainty that legalizing marijuana will help issues of violence.