Recreational cannabis use in Mexico decriminalized by supreme court

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Laws criminalizing the recreational use of cannabis in Mexico have been shot down by the Supreme Court. An 8-3 ruling on June 28 led to the court’s decision, which has been heavily influenced by a long push for decriminalization by state advocates.

In a moment that was described as “historic” by the Supreme Court of Mexico, judges ruled that the previously introduced legal ban on cannabis use was “unconstitutional.” The Court’s judge praised the declaration as a turning point for human rights. 

The use of medical cannabis has been legal in Mexico since 2017.

Permits are required by citizens who wish to purchase cannabis in Mexico

The Supreme Court affirms that, in order to access the plant, citizens are required to apply for a permit from the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (Cofepris) – the country’s health regulator. Once a permit has been granted, anyone aged 18 and above can possess a maximum of 28 grams of cannabis.

The new law stipulates that cultivation and harvesting will also be permitted, so long as a permit has first been obtained from Cofepris. An integral facet of the court ruling stated that minors cannot consume cannabis, nor should they be allowed to operate a vehicle and/or engage in hazardous activities post-consumption.

Previously, cannabis could be accessed by Mexican citizens, but the tedious process required the filing of a court injunction.

History of cannabis in Mexico

Mexicans can hold their heads up high in the knowledge that they played an important part in the global cannabis legalization landscape; by the year 2026, analysts predict that the worldwide cannabis market will be worth $90.4 billion$90.4 billion.

As far back as the 16th century, when Christopher Columbus descended upon Mexico, Spaniards were bringing weed or “hemp” to the Mexican mainland.

Fast forward to the beginning of the 20th century and Mexican people began moving to the United States in an attempt to seek out cheap labor opportunities. With their joints in-hand, Mexicans left a permanent souvenir on U.S. territory.

Soon after, Harry J. Anslinger (first commissioner of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics) kicked off his campaign to criminalize cannabis consumption; many of his anti-pot crusades campaigns smeared a stigma over the word ‘marijuana’. 

Certain historical documents also confirm that cannabis has been used in Mexican spiritual rituals. Looking to the future, Mexico’s medical cannabis market size was valued at $47.3 million in 2018 and is anticipated to register a CAGR of 27.7 percent between 2019-2025