Following the Supreme Court of Mexico decriminalizing cannabis earlier this week, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador indicated he would leave the door open for a public referendum on cannabis legalization, according to a Reuters report. He said he would “respect” the court’s decision, but if the ruling did not lower addiction rates or violence, the public may need to weigh in on the issue.
“Of course we’re going to respect what the court has decided and we’re going to evaluate. We’re going to see what effects it has,” Lopez Obrador said during the press conference while answering a question on the Supreme Court’s decision, adding that there are “two views” on the issue of cannabis legalization in Mexico, a split he acknowledges exist in his own cabinet.
Mexico’s House passed a cannabis legalization bill in March, but the measure has stalled in the Senate, according to the report. Lopez Obrador said along with the public referendum he could send a new bill to the Senate if the Supreme Court’s action is ineffective.
In the landmark decision, after declaring the law unconstitutional, the court said citizens 18-and-older could apply to possess up to an ounce of cannabis. Additionally, the Federal Committee for Protection from Sanitary Risks will issue permits for cannabis production.
If Mexico legalizes adult-use cannabis it will become the world’s largest cannabis market by population and isolate the U.S. as the only country on the continent where adult-use cannabis is not legal. Mexico legalized medical cannabis in 2017.
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