In Mexico, supporters of drug reform have been celebrating a decision from the Supreme Court of Mexico that could lead to the legalization of marijuana. This highly controversial rule would allow people to grow the plant for private consumption. A panel of five judges ruled in favor of a nonprofit marijuana club in Mexico, even though drugs and dealing with drugs has claimed thousands of lives in Mexico. Nonetheless, this ruling changes the country’s course on drug policy.
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John Walsh, a senior associate at the Washington Office on Latin America, said, “Every country in the world signed up to a treaty that prescribed a prohibitionist and criminalized approach to dealing with drugs that was one-sided, That basic response doesn’t work anymore.”
The Mexican supreme court determined that there was no reason to imprison people for harvesting plants that have already been okayed for transfer to the United States for legal use. Some say this could decrease crime and normalize society. Also, the court ruled that marijuana is every individual’s right, as long as it have no negative impacts or harms other people.
Lisa Sánchez, Latin America program manager for the U.K. said “This is a very important step. It not only gives us jurisprudence. It demonstrates an incoherence between the country’s most qualified jurists and congressional legislation. This should have an effect on Congress to reform [drug] policy as soon as possible.”
Justice Olga Sánchez said, “This court recognized the reach of personal freedom, People decide the course of their lives.”
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The case was brought before the court by an executive Mexican professional, Armando Santacruz. He said, “It will force Congress and the executive to move in a certain direction,”.
Some have spoken in favor of this supreme court decision because selling marijuana illegally makes it very costly and puts the industry in the hands of organized crime. This new rule will be an obstacle for drug gangs who routinely corrupt law-enforcement institutions in countries such as Mexico. Statics says that crimes related to drugs have killed more than 100,000 Mexicans and left more than 20,000 people missing.
Enrique Peña Nieto, the current Mexican President, has tweeted that his government respects this decision by his panel of judges. He further said that “this will open a debate about the best regulation to inhibit drug consumption.” The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said it had no comment on the ruling.
For more information, watch this video from Euronews.