Mexico: Supreme Court Moves to Abolish Laws Prohibiting Personal Use of Marijuana

Justices on Mexico’s highest court moved today to permit adults to possess and cultivate small quantities of marijuana without penalty.

In 2018, the Court determined that the sections of the federal law criminalizing the private use and cultivation of cannabis by adults were unconstitutional. At that time, the majority opined, “The effects caused by marijuana do not create an absolute prohibition on its consumption.”

Justices had provided Mexican lawmakers until April 30 to enact legislation regulating the use of cannabis by adults. However, House and Senate lawmakers did not agree on a plan prior to the deadline.

Today Mexico’s Supreme Court mandated that the Health Department begin issuing permits to members of the public ages 18 and older who wish to either possess or grow personal use quantities of cannabis. Activities involving commercial activities remain illegal.

“With these actions by the Court, the United States has become an island of federal marijuana prohibition in North America,” NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said.

Canada legalized its marijuana market in 2018. Mexican lawmakers in 2009 decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis (5 grams or less) and other substances.

Earlier today, US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas issued an opinion questioning the legal rationale for continuing federal marijuana prohibition in the United States.