LEGAL MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS JUST A SIGNATURE AWAY

On Friday 28th April 2017, the Lower House of the Mexican Congress ratified a medical cannabis bill by a huge majority. 371 votes for, 7 against, and 11 abstainers. In just 6 months the medical marijuana bill has cleared all legislative hurdles with ease. First, the Senate back in December 2016, passing with an overwhelming majority just as it would later in the Congress. Now President Enrique Peña Nieto is poised to sign the bill into law.

The President himself has advocated increasing the legal amount of medical cannabis patients can possess from 5g to 28g. This is a welcome change of course from his predecessors failed War on Drugs methods. A War on Drugs that led to 100,000+ fatalities during the period 2006-2016. The pen is mightier than the sword and a more effective way to defeat the cartels.

Mexico legalisation cannabis medical

WHAT DOES THE BILL MEAN FOR PATIENTS?

The good news for medical cannabis patients is that their medication finally has legal status. In recent years the Mexican government has approved medical marijuana cultivation and use on a case by case basis. The new bill gives patients legal clarity. Medical cannabis is medicine, not an illicit drug with no value. However, a clear model detailing precisely how medical cannabis will be cultivated and subsequently distributed to patients has yet to be devised.

CBD based products and those containing no more than 1% THC will be permitted. The Department of Health has effectively been given responsibility for the administration and regulation of medical cannabis in Mexico. Very few countries can boast an efficient well-run health system. Perhaps a more specialised, new organisation would have been a better way to get started? Time will tell.

Mexico medical users cannabis

WHAT ABOUT RECREATIONAL CANNABIS USERS?

Unfortunately, the bill has no direct impact on recreational cannabis users in Mexico one way or the other. This bill makes only limited provisions for medical cannabis patients and limits THC levels of legal cannabis products to a paltry 1%. Plus, tight control by the Health Dept could be indicative that a prescription rather than a legal home grow is likely how medical cannabis will be available to patients.

The bill is a “good start” or “a step in the right direction” as most of the pro-legalisation Mexican politicians have been saying. But there really is no excuse for such slow progress on the right to enjoy a spliff in peace. Especially, in a country with drug cartels laying waste to the population and economy.

 

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