Cannabis in Mexico | Source: The Happy Campers
Are you ready for some spicy news? It looks like Mexico is about to take a page out of Canada’s book and legalize cannabis.
That’s right, amigos, our southern neighbor might just become the second North American country to do so after Canada. Let’s dive into the details and see what this could mean for Mexico.
The Background of Cannabis Prohibition in Mexico
Background of Cannabis | Source: Rosin Tech News
Cannabis prohibition in Mexico goes way back, and it hasn’t always been pretty. Back in the early 20th century, Mexico was one of the first countries to criminalize cannabis use, along with the US and Canada. Since then, Mexico has been fighting a war on drugs, with mixed results. However, in recent years, there have been some major changes.
In 2009, Mexico decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis, as well as other drugs. Then, in 2017, the Mexican government legalized medical cannabis, allowing patients to access cannabis-based medicines with a prescription. Now, in 2019, there’s talk of full legalization on the horizon.
Mexico might very well be the 2nd North-American country to pass legal cannabis in 2019. On October 31st, 2018 the Mexico supreme court stated that the country’s cannabis policies were unconstitutional and violated the personal liberties of its citizens.
Newly elected President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has entered office with a lot of change to live up to. He won the election in a landslide with promises of bringing peace and stability to a country that has not seen a whole lot of either as of late. Senator Olga Sanchez Cordero, who is Obradors interior secretary, introduced a bill in November 2018 that would allow marijuana to be grown, consumed, and regulated.
The new political party Morena that was started by Obrador also holds majorities of both houses of Congress so there is a fair amount of optimism that this bill should pass in 2019. Obrador and Cordero have both deemed Mexico’s military-based war on drugs a failure and hope to end the violence that has left over 230,000 people dead and another 40,000 missing since 2006.
If the legal cannabis bill passes, Mexico would join Canada, Uruguay, and 10 US states that allow the recreational commercialization of cannabis…
Legalization of Cannabis | Source: Unsplash
It’s worth noting that Canada has already legalized cannabis, back in 2018. So, how has that worked out for them? Well, the country has seen a boom in the cannabis industry, with billions of dollars in investments and thousands of jobs created.
When it comes to comparing Canada’s legalization process to Mexico’s potential process, there are some similarities and differences. For example, both countries have faced opposition to legalization, and both are taking steps to address concerns around drug trafficking and public safety.
It would allow citizens to grow up to 20 plants and produce up to 17 ounces a year. Citizens would be allowed to smoke publicly as well as join cooperatives of up to 150 people, but edibles would still be banned. A 2016 national survey showed that roughly 7 million Mexicans smoked cannabis at least once in their life.
The marijuana market in Mexico is projected to be worth around $2 billion a year and would also likely attract more tourism which is already a $20 billion industry and represents about 7% of the country’s GDP. Nothing is guaranteed yet, especially with the catholic church which has a good amount of political influence being very critical of cannabis.
However, we can be optimistic and hopeful for positive change in 2019 for our neighbors down south.
The Benefits of Legalizing Cannabis in Mexico
There are many potential benefits to legalizing cannabis in Mexico. Let’s start with the economic benefits. According to some estimates, legalizing cannabis could bring in up to $1.3 billion in tax revenue annually. That’s a lot of pesos, folks.
Benefits of Marijuana Legalization | Source: The Motley Fool
The potential benefits of legalizing cannabis in Mexico extend beyond just the economic advantages. Legalization could also lead to significant social benefits. It could reduce the number of people who are incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses, freeing up resources for law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes.
The legalization of cannabis could also create new job opportunities and stimulate the economy. The cannabis industry is projected to create more than 200,000 jobs in Mexico by 2025, according to some estimates. This would not only benefit the workforce but also help to stimulate the economy, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, legalizing cannabis could also provide an opportunity to regulate the quality and safety of cannabis products. With legalizing cannabis, the government can set standards for production, packaging, and labeling of cannabis products. This could ensure that consumers are aware of what they are consuming and ensure that the product is safe for consumption. Interestingly, some studies suggest that legalizing cannabis could also lead to a decrease in alcohol consumption.
Mexico has a long-standing culture of drinking, which is associated with a range of health and social issues. Legalizing cannabis could provide an alternative to alcohol consumption, which could have a positive impact on public health.
Legalizing cannabis could also attract more tourists to Mexico. Cannabis tourism is a growing industry around the world, and many tourists are seeking destinations where cannabis is legal. By legalizing cannabis, Mexico could tap into this market and attract a new wave of tourism. Overall, legalizing cannabis in Mexico could have significant economic, social, health, and tourism benefits.
With Mexico potentially becoming the second North American country to legalize cannabis, the country could see significant economic, social, and health benefits.
- Legalization could bring in billions of pesos in tax revenue annually, help to reduce drug-related violence, and provide patients with greater access to medical cannabis.
- While there are still challenges and opposition to overcome, the potential benefits make legalization an exciting possibility for Mexico.
- As Canada has already shown, legalization can have a positive impact on society and the economy.
- It’s time for the US to catch up and follow the lead of its North American neighbors in legalizing cannabis.
So, let’s raise a joint to Mexico and their potential journey towards legalization. Come back to The Happy Campers for all of your latest cannabis news and findings.