As the United States continues to make slow, steady progress towards ending cannabis prohibition, our neighbor to the south is helping show the way. With Canada already leading the way, the U.S. is in danger of falling behind Mexico as the Mexican Senate just voted to legalize. The Chamber of Deputies now has to pass the bill and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has already stated his support.
Like the debate in the U.S., as we are seeing both federally and in states like New Jersey, the issue isn’t just whether cannabis should be legalized (it should, of course), but around how the plant and its products should be legalized and regulated. Marijuana Moment reported:
While advocates have celebrated the advancement of cannabis reform through the legislature, they have fought hard for changes to better protect consumers’ rights and promote social equity in the legal market. Namely, they remain concerned about high penalties that can be imposed for violating the cannabis rules and feel the bill should do more to allow opportunities for small farmers.
That said, Ricardo Monreal, the ruling MORENA party’s coordinator in the Senate, argued last week that the proposal is a significant improvement on current laws against possession, which have “only caused the detention centers to be full of people for possession of a few grams of cannabis, which is why they seek to reduce the penalties in carrying of this product.”
In a column published on the senator’s website on Sunday, he said the “intensity, duration and complexity of the discussion reflects the desire to achieve the pacification of a country that for years has been a victim of violence caused by drug trafficking, as well as the will to respect the right to free development of the personality, at the same time that favorable conditions are generated to expand national economic development,” according to a translation.
With 68% of U.S. voters supporting cannabis legalization, it is going to be an embarrassment if we are the last North American nation to end prohibition. Let’s get our act together so that our farmers and entrepreneurs can truly flourish.