Will Mexico Legalize Cannabis after California voted in 2016?
In September 2016, a delegation of Californian lawmakers visited Mexico to discuss with the President of Mexico the possibility to liberate the country’s drug laws. They talked with Pena Nieto about trade and the state border to Mexico. The president has proposed to decriminalize the possession of 28 grams or less for recreational purposes. On December 13, the senate voted to legalize medical marijuana. He said he would closely follow the November ballot results.
With the vote in California to legalize the cannabis market, a great amount of pressure is put on Mexico to follow suit. Before, Pena Nieto has said that Mexico and the United States should not have diverged policies on marijuana legislation.
Over the past decades the United States spent huge amounts of money to combat the flow of drugs from the Mexican border, especially the San Diego border. The question is how would legalizing the marijuana market influence this?
Marijuana has always been the cash cow drug traffic cartels depended on. Would a legal marijuana market cut into the Mexican drug smugglers ‘profit, and would it be enough to cripple them? Would it make it easier for drug cartels to grow crops in California in a legitimate form?
At this moment it is all but speculation, but no one thinks the drug war will stop. If there is money to make, there will be ways to find it. It might be that the focus changes to other drugs, if marijuana is not the option anymore. Until now, marijuana is one of the biggest ways to make money, but the legalization in Colorado already gave a blow to the drug cartels. Legalizing it on the Mexican side might just bend their knees.
Heroin is fast growing in the United States, and then Mexican cartels have already taken advantage of that.
The general opinion is that Mexico will ease up on their legalization law, as it would make no sense to chase marijuana to the border to just let it be legal on the other side of California. How fast legalization in Mexico will happen, is hard to tell.
The President from Mexico made it clear on some occasions that he would look at legalizing drugs in Mexico rather from a Human Right’s Point of view, as the violence felt under the reign of the previous president is not acceptable.
In the beginning of 2016, there was a breakthrough when a family, whose daughter of 8 years old is suffering from a severe epileptic disease, was allowed to import medicinal from the United States to treat her. Soon after a second family was also allowed and because of that a legal import trade from the United States was allowed.
Later in the year there was a landmark case where it was debated in the Mexican’s Supreme Court whether the prohibition of the consumption and cultivation of marijuana for personal use is unconstitutional. This case is extraordinary, because it is argued on human right grounds and it took place in one of the countries that had suffered most from the war on drugs.
This debate followed because of the 8 year old child that was allowed to bring marijuana substances in to help with her condition.
No one can say how fast legalization will happen, if it will happen and when it will happen. Signs are there that the general population has changed its view on marijuana as a drug.
Plans are introduced to legalize medical marijuana, increase the quantity one can carry for personal consumption from 5 to 28 grams. The plan is also to free some prisoners convicted with carrying small amounts.
Would it benefit the United States? Yes, it would. Would it benefit Mexico? Certainly so. It might even have an effect on the violence in the country.
The fact of the matter is that legalizing cannabis is a win-win situation for the US and Mexico. Not only will the US be able to outsource large crops to Mexico for cheaper production costs, it will also create a new revenue stream for both countries.
Mexico has the space, the workforce and highly nutrient rich soil for mass production of crops such as hemp and cannabis. To use this as a resource for Americans would be ideal as it would significantly cut costs to the end product. For instance, when it comes to CBD oil extracts, the crops could be grown in Mexico, sent to the US for processing and then redistributed back to Mexico as an export product. Similar to how the current oil scheme is working where Mexico sends raw oil to the US for processing and receives processed petroleum in return.
It really is a matter of “removing the stick from politicians asses” and to give cannabis the chance it deserves.
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