By KELIN DILLON
A qualified majority of Mexico’s Supreme Court (SCJN) on Monday, June 28, ruled that there can be no absolute prohibition of marijuana for recreational use within the country, after taking just one hour and a half to deliberate on the issue, essentially legalizing cannabis in Mexico.
The ruling struck down Articles 235 and 247 of the General Health Law, which made marijuana use only legally usable for medical purposes while still illegal recreationally, as unconstitutional.
Now, the Federal Commission for Protection Against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris) cannot deny permits related to the recreational self-consumption of marijuana, including for growing, harvesting, transporting and possessing, though all wishing to consume cannabis still must register before Cofepris.
However, the ruling will only apply to marijuana and no other narcotics, and likewise will not apply to the trade, selling or distribution of cannabis.
“Today is a historic day for freedom,” said SCJN President Arturo Zaldívar. “After a long journey, this supreme court consolidates the right to free development for the recreational use of marijuana.”
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) said if the SCJN’s legalization ruling doesn’t work, he would introduce a bill of his own to rectify the process.
“We are going to see how this measure is resolved and what effects it will have in practice,” said López Obrador on the morning of Tuesday, June 29. “If we see that it’s hurting instead of helping, then we will propose a change. I would, in accordance with my powers, create a bill.”