A cannabis plant (file photo). Photograph:( AFP )
Once active, the country would move a step closer to creating one of the world’s largest legal markets for the misunderstood plant
Stoners in Mexico could soon be able to relish marijuana in peace after country’s top court urged Congress to legalise its recreational use.
Mexico’s Supreme Court on Monday ordered the government to issue permits facilitating the limited growth of marijuana in the country after the Congress missed multiple opportunities to approve a legalisation law. Eight of the 11 judges backed the decision declaring the drug's prohibition under the health law to be unconstitutional.
Once active, the country would move a step closer to creating one of the world’s largest legal markets for the misunderstood plant.
The bill to approve legalisation has languished in Mexican Congress after undergoing a few modifications and with this Supreme Court ruling, it could be fast-forwarded.
The law is backed by the current administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and would mark a major shift in Mexico where drug cartels dictate the trade.
Once completely legalised, a huge market would open up for the US and Canada.
"A historic day for freedoms… The right to free development of the personality is consolidated in the case of recreational or recreational use of marijuana”, Mexican Supreme Court Judge Arturo Zaldivar Lelo de Larrea wrote on Twitter.
Monday’s declaration removes a legal obstacle which prevented the health ministry from authorising activities related to the consumption of marijuana for recreational purposes, as per the court statement.
The ruling marked the final step in a long court procedure aimed at declaring a prohibition on non-medical use of marijuana and its main ingredient THC as unconstitutional.
Marijuana is still not legal in Mexico. The court’s order simply means that anybody seeking permit to consume the plant legally may be allowed to, in addition to growing their own cannabis at home. Naturally, certain restrictions would be put in place.
Activists have urged authorities to only allow recreational use among people aged 18 and above.