The Mexican government took the first step in the legalization of marijuana. President Enrique Peña Nieto sent to the Senate an initiative to reform the General Health Law and the Federal Penal Code to allow medicinal use and avoid the criminalization of consumers.
With the approval of these changes, the use of herbal medicinal marijuana and its active ingredients would be authorized; also it increases the allowable amount of possession of 5-28 grams of marijuana.
With this would free the people who are in the process or in prison for carrying a greater than 5 grams but less than 28 amount.
Research and development of cannabbis based drugs would also be allowed, with the necessary permits.
The Mexican government will develop a large National Program for Prevention of Addictions and Citizen Participation which will aim to strengthen the prevention of addiction, especially with regard to the consumption of marijuana.
The plan to seek effective treatment and rehabilitation; education on the therapeutic use of narcotics and psychotropic substances, while decriminalizing the drug.
The president has traditionally opposed efforts to liberalize drug laws, but began to modify his stance in recent months, reflecting growing regional disenchantment with the so-called “War On Drugs.”
“We Mexicans know all too well the range and the defects of prohibitionist and punitive policies, and of the so-called war on drugs that has prevailed for 40 years,” Pena Nieto said. “Our country has suffered, as few have, the ill effects of organized crime tied to drug trafficking.”
“Fortunately, a new consensus is gradually emerging worldwide in favor of reforming drug policies,” he said. “A growing number of countries are strenuously combating criminals, but instead of criminalizing consumers, they offer them alternatives and opportunities.”
President Enrique Peña Nieto returned this week from a U.N. summit addressing the global war on drugs and drug policies.
On Tuesday, Canada announced they would decriminalize marijuana in 2017.