The Supreme Court of Mexico ruled in favor of two separate cases against the marijuana ban on Wednesday, October 31, 2018. This isn’t the first time that such a decision was made. The first successful case of this kind was in November of 2015, when the plaintiff requested permission from the court to grow cannabis for private use.
Jurisprudence and Marijuana as a Right
The recent verdicts mark the fourth and the fifth time when the court ruled against the country’s harsh law on marijuana. This is a critical threshold for the Mexican legal system. According to Mexican law, having the same decision on five consecutive cases means that jurisprudence was achieved. The Supreme Court therefore declares that the absolute prohibition of cannabis is unconstitutional.
The court cites “the right to free development of personality” as a primary reason behind the decision. Anyone of legal age has a right to any recreational activity of their choice, provided they do not infringe others’ rights. As per the court, the effects of marijuana consumption are not enough to warrant an absolute ban.
Next Step Towards Legalization
Despite reaching jurisprudence, the ruling does not change the legality of using marijuana. However, it sets a new standard that the entire Mexican court system must follow. It’s now up to the Congress to adjust the law and make new regulations regarding marijuana use.
While no set law has been made, people who wish to consume or plant marijuana for personal use can apply for permit though COFEPRIS, Mexico’s health regulatory body.
There are reports that officials in incoming President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador’s administration have hinted at possible marijuana legalization. If pushed through, Mexico would be the third country to legalize the drug fully, following Uruguay and Canada. It also could also mean that the only North American country left to prohibit cannabis would be the United States.