Mexican Lawmakers Are Laying The Groundwork For Medical Marijuana Program

After Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto passed a new law in June, Mexican lawmakers are laying the groundwork for a medical marijuana program.

Mientras Tanto en México

Mexico could be taking a big step toward making weed legal. Thanks to a new law, Mexican lawmakers are laying the groundwork for a medical marijuana program.

Cannabis In Mexico

Under current laws, cannabis is illegal in Mexico. And that includes medicinal cannabis. But the country could now be moving in a different direction.

In June, Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto passed a new law that could pave the way toward starting a new medical marijuana program. The law directs the country’s Health Ministry to begin outlining rules for making medical marijuana legal.

The decision had widespread support among lawmakers. In April, it cleared the Lower House of Congress 347-7. Medical marijuana has also received significant support from the courts.

As far back as 2015, the Mexican Supreme Court reached an important conclusion. It decided that making it illegal to grow or consume cannabis violates basic human rights.

Now, thanks to President Nieto’s recent directive, Mexican lawmakers have until the end of the year to draft rules for a medical marijuana program. Experts in the country say the move could have mixed results.

On the one hand, many expect any new rules to be fairly conservative. Some suspect that the Health Ministry could end up legalizing only medical hemp oil.

But on the other hand, law experts also think that legalizing medical cannabis could open the doors to a more liberal approach to weed.

In particular, Alejandro Madrazo, head of the drug policy institute at the Mexico Center for Research and Teaching in Economics, said it could pave the way to eventually legalizing recreational weed.

He also said that if the country allows medical marijuana, it could have international ripples. Madrazo said that if Mexican companies are allowed to get cannabis-related patents, then those patents would have to honored in countries where Mexico has trade treaties.

Final Hit: Mexican Lawmakers Are Laying The Groundwork For A Medical Marijuana Program

This isn’t the first time the Mexican government has talked about changing its weed laws. The Supreme Court reached its decision about weed almost two years ago.

Similarly, at the end of 2015, the country gave licenses to four people that allowed them to grow and smoke their own weed.

Despite all this, weed remains illegal throughout the country. But that could be changing.

There is a growing precedent for rethinking weed laws, especially in the Supreme Court. On top of that, President Nieto’s new law could give the country a concrete path toward making weed more accessible.

" Nick Lindsey : Nick is a Green Rush Daily writer reporting on all things cannabis. He currently lives in New York City.."