In late 2018 Mexico’s Supreme Court issued two landmark rulings that collectively overturned the country’s prohibition on cannabis as it pertained to recreational use. The rulings established case law that all judges in Mexico are bound by, however, they did not completely set the nation’s cannabis policies, particularly when it comes to the cannabis industry.
Part of the Court’s decisions back in late 2018 involved Mexico’s federal lawmakers being tasked with passing a measure that would fully implement cannabis legalization and create an adult-use cannabis industry. The Court’s mandate initially involved a one year deadline.
Unfortunately, the deadline was not complied with and a series of extensions have come and gone, yet cannabis advocates in Mexico are still waiting on a measure to be passed. Various lawmakers have hinted that legalization is near, although at this point many cannabis advocates inside and outside of Mexico see those claims as nothing more than pandering.
Former President Vicente Fox is an outspoken advocate for cannabis reform in Mexico, and he recently expressed frustration with how long the process is taking to get a legalization measure passed. He also made a bold claim regarding legalization and Mexico’s drug cartels. Per excerpts from Mexico News Daily:
Former president and marijuana entrepreneur Vicente Fox has urged lawmakers and authorities to legalize and regulate the recreational use of cannabis, asserting that doing so will reduce cartels’ income and create economic opportunities for ordinary Mexicans.
“Sometimes people ask why [former] president Fox is involved in this, if he is a druggie or pothead – a lot of people make jokes,” Fox said. “I’m involved in this because I’m totally convinced that legalizing marijuana is [the way] to pull the rug out from under the cartels.”
How long it will ultimately take for lawmakers in Mexico to pass a legalization measure and for regulators to launch a regulated adult-use industry is anyone’s guess at this point. In fairness, it is worth recognizing that creating a regulated adult-use industry in Mexico is much different compared to many other countries due to the cartel factor.
The industry has to be set up in a way that minimizes the involvement of cartels in the regulated industry, as it’s very logical to assume that cartels will work very hard to gain as much of Mexico’s legal market as possible. If that proves to be the case it will be very unfortunate. Mexico not only needs to legalize cannabis, it also has to legalize the right way.