The Mexican Senate accepted a landmark hashish legalization invoice final week, bringing the nation one step nearer to creating the most important authorized cannabis market on the planet. The measure now heads to Mexico’s decrease legislative chamber, as activists assert that the invoice is flawed.

Mexico’s Supreme Court docket dominated in 2018 that legal guidelines prohibiting leisure hashish are unconstitutional and ordered legislative reform. The nation’s lawmakers are actually working to codify that call earlier than the present legislative session ends in December. Underneath the invoice accepted by senators final week, adults could be permitted to own as much as 28 grams of hashish and domesticate a restricted variety of hashish vegetation for private use.

Activists Say Invoice Is Flawed

Nonetheless, some activists, together with Julio Salazar, a senior lawyer and legalization advocate with the nonprofit group Mexico United In opposition to Crime, have mentioned that the invoice is flawed, favoring massive firms over small companies and household farms. The measure additionally does little to strip the hashish commerce from the cartels in Mexico, the place greater than 100,000 folks have been killed in drug-related violence lately.

“I’m undecided if the initiative being pushed by Congress really makes issues higher,” Salazar said earlier than the Senate vote. “It makes a hashish marketplace for the wealthy and continues to make use of felony regulation to perpetuate a drug battle that has broken the poorest folks with the least alternatives.”

The invoice would permit personal firms to promote hashish to the general public, however shoppers could be required to register for a authorities license to buy hashish, a provision many say would perpetuate the recognition of the nation’s illicit market. One other requirement for a track-and-trace system much like one established in California is seen by many as unworkable in a largely rural nation.

“The laws being pushed took the worst elements of all of the totally different fashions,” Salazar mentioned. “They took the buyer registry from Uruguay that’s extreme. They included the traceability requirement from america, which is smart over there as a result of regulation is native however not in Mexico the place it might be federal. And we additionally copied the shortage of reparations to assist indigenous communities or these most affected by the battle on medicine.”

Zara Snapp, co-founder of the RIA Institute, a Mexico Metropolis-based drug coverage analysis and advocacy group, believes that invoice will exclude small companies and presently illicit cultivators from collaborating on the planet’s largest authorized hashish market as soon as the regulation goes into impact.

“We wish a authorized framework that may deliver a few of these gamers in from the unlawful market right into a authorized one,” Snapp mentioned. “The acquisition value must be low sufficient to undercut the unlawful marketplace for shoppers. … You even have to ensure there are sufficient entry factors for [growers] to maneuver over.”

Snap mentioned that if 30 p.c of the presently illicit growers may be introduced right into a regulated market, “that’s 30 p.c which might be paying taxes and out of the shadows, when earlier than it was zero p.c.”

Supreme Court docket Deadline Looms

Mexico’s Supreme Court docket has set a December 15 deadline for lawmakers to legalize hashish for leisure use by adults. However 60 p.c of the nation believes that hashish ought to stay unlawful, a statistic that’s influencing how the legislature approaches the duty.

“Public opinion is essential proper now as a result of it impacts how politicians assume,” Snapp mentioned. “However what the politicians want to recollect is that we aren’t at this level due to public opinion — we’re right here as a result of the Supreme Court docket dominated on a number of events that any and all Mexicans have the correct to the free consumption of hashish, and inhibiting private use infringes that proper.”