The Senate in Mexico is set to start debating the legalization of marijuana this week, according to information from the leader of the Morena Party.
Different Senate committees will consider the different proposals before them before a bill is put together, possibly by the end of October.
Jesusa Rodriguez Martinez, a Senator belonging to the Morena Party, revealed that there are thirteen legalization proposals before the upper chamber of the Mexico legislature. These proposals will all be discussed during open committee sessions.
During those sessions, members of the public and other stakeholders will be invited to share their views on those proposals.
Early this year, the Supreme Court of Mexico made a landmark ruling that it was unconstitutional for the government to prohibit the recreational use of marijuana by adults. That latest ruling was the fifth such ruling, and under Mexican law, once the Supreme Court makes five similar rulings on a matter, then all other courts are obliged to rule in the same way if a similar matter is brought before them.
It should be remembered that the Supreme Court also gave the government a deadline within which the appropriate law should be drafted and passed. The clock is ticking on that deadline so the lawmakers have to act fast to avoid missing the court-imposed deadline.
During a summit held at the Senate to kick start discussions on marijuana legalization, a former U.S. narcotics official, Gil Kerlikowske, addressed the summit. He urged the lawmakers to pass what he called “robust regulation” to keep minors from accessing recreational cannabis.
He referred to research that suggests that marijuana can be harmful to the developing brains of young people. Strict regulation is required to prevent such harm, he argued.
He also added that there should be strict rules governing the production, packaging and marketing of recreational marijuana once it becomes legal. Kerlikowske also recommended that the country taxes recreational marijuana and the tax revenue should be directed towards marijuana law enforcement efforts, drug prevention and rehabilitation of those suffering from drug use disorders.
In an indirect criticism of the U.S. states that have legalized recreational marijuana, Kerlikowske said that they had all failed to stamp out the black market and yet eliminating the black market is vital to controlling recreational marijuana in any jurisdiction.
It remains to be seen what form the Mexican legalization law will take. Analysts think industry actors like Therma Bright Inc. (TSX.V: THRM) (OTC: THRBF) and TransCanna Holdings Inc. (CSE: TCAN) (FRA: TH8) are confident that the Mexicans have done their research and will pass a law that is good for all stakeholders, such as law enforcement and consumers.
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