As the U.S. is still grappling with how to deal with the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, its challenges are likely to increase if what is happening in its other neighbor’s legal system results in the legalization of recreational pot.
Last week, the Supreme Court in Mexico made two rulings to the effect that it was unconstitutional to prevent adults from consuming marijuana if they so wished. The cases that resulted in those rulings had been filed by individuals who were challenging the constitutionality of stopping them from consuming recreational marijuana.
The court observed that adults have the right to choose whether or not to consume cannabis, so it is improper to deny them that right.
Between 2015 and 2017, three similar rulings were made by the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in Mexico.
The court ruling also indicated that the right isn’t absolute, so the state still has the mandate to restrict the exercise of that right. Individuals must therefore argue their case before the judicial system in order to get express permission to consume a restricted substance.
However, the previous three rulings on the subject now bring the total number of similar rulings by the Supreme Court to five. Under Mexican law, any subject that accumulates five similar rulings in the Supreme Court sets a precedent which all the other courts must follow.
In effect, that means that no court will be able to object to anyone who applies to start consuming recreational marijuana. The bigger implication is that the way has been cleared for recreational marijuana to be legalized since the legislators cannot leave such an issue unregulated now that the Supreme Court has made five rulings in favor of the complainants who challenged the constitutionality of the criminalization of adult-use marijuana.
A similar scenario played out over same-sex marriages. The Supreme Court made five rulings allowing gay couples to wed so it was no longer possible for such a marriage to be blocked through judicial means. However, no law has been passed as yet to regulate same-sex marriages.
Recreational marijuana is different in that the way may have been opened for thousands or even millions of people to apply to the courts of law in order to be allowed to consume recreational marijuana. Such a possibility can choke the legal system, not to mention the public health and safety concerns that may arise when such a large number of people is allowed to consume recreational marijuana in the absence of any laws to regulate such consumption other than the requirement that the individuals don’t sell the substance.
It is therefore likely that the country’s legislative body (congress) will soon draft a law to regulate recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana became legal in 2017, so it isn’t as though drafting laws on marijuana will be a new thing for the legislators.
It remains to be seen how the U.S. will respond to the legalization of recreational marijuana by all its neighbors. Already, the government has been fighting the smuggling of marijuana from Mexico. Companies with interests in the marijuana industry, such as GreenBox POS, LLC (OTC: GRBX) and Lexaria Bioscience Corp. (CSE: LXX) (OTCQX: LXRP) may be pleased that additional markets will soon open and increase their opportunities.
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