Tags: mexico | marijuana | decriminalization | supreme court

Mexico Marijuana: Supreme Court Opens Door to Decriminalization

Image: Mexico Marijuana: Supreme Court Opens Door to Decriminalization
A man takes part in a rally supporting the legalization of marijuana in front of the Supreme Court of Justice in Mexico City on November 4, 2015. (Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 05 Nov 2015 09:27 AM

Mexico's Supreme Court legalized recreational marijuana for four individuals on Wednesday, citing personal liberty as the primary factor in its decision, and opening the door for the possible legalization of the drug across the country.

"The responsible decision taken to experiment with the effects of this substance — whatever personal harm it might do — belongs within the autonomy of the individual, protected by their freedom to develop themselves," said Supreme Court justice Arturo Zaldivar, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The 4-1 Supreme Court vote did not legalize marijuana for anyone beyond the four plaintiffs in the case, all of whom are members of a group called SMART (a Spanish acronym for the Mexican Society for the Responsible, Tolerant Auto-Consumption of Marijuana), but experts say a wave of court petitions from fellow marijuana advocates are sure to follow the ruling.

"We want to create a situation where people who use marijuana don’t have to get it from organized crime," said Lisa Sanchez, a member of SMART and the director of drug policy for the anti-crime collective Mexico United Against Crime.

Nearly 60 percent of prisoners in Mexico's federal prisons were convicted of offenses related to marijuana, and marijuana advocates say that the police should shift focus from harmless smokers to more serious criminals.

Mexico has made some small moves toward that vision, passing a law in 2009 that decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has repeatedly pushed back against legalization, saying it could lead to increased addiction and drug use.

Others have expressed worry about the possible consequences — good or bad — that legalization could have on the illegal drug trade across North America.

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Mexico's Supreme Court legalized recreational marijuana for four individuals on Wednesday, citing personal liberty as the primary factor in its decision, and opening the door for the possible legalization of the drug across the country.
mexico, marijuana, decriminalization, supreme court
283
2015-27-05
Thursday, 05 Nov 2015 09:27 AM
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