Cannabis y Libertad – Will Mexico’s Recreational Coup Be A Bloodless One On Both Sides Of The Rio Grande?

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For those who know their Mexican history, the slogan of the country’s revolution between the years 1910-1920 was Tierra y Libertad (land and freedom).

This century is about to see a bit of a repeat. Including a restriction imposed by that revolution (the illegality of cannabis itself) that is about to go down in flames.

The Mexican Supreme court ruled on October 31, 2018, that current laws in the country prohibiting the recreational use of cannabis are unconstitutional. Further, the court ruled that the government must implement laws to essentially begin the process of regulating the industry by March 2019. 

Previously, the Supreme Court had ruled in 2015 that the prohibition of personal cultivation and use was also unconstitutional as it violated the human right to the free development of one’s personality. Limited medical reform was then implemented in 2017 by the government.

So far, essentially, however, this is an uncomfortable can that has been kicked down the road repeatedly by the nation’s lawmakers.

That is about to change.

The country’s legislators have a new deadline – December 15 – to pass cannabis legislation of the recreational kind.

The question still on the table is what kind of legal market this might look like – and if indeed the market will be protected or opened to foreign investors and companies.

Rec Reform “South Of The Border”?

Realistically, particularly with continued political delay north of the border (even in a Biden presidency), the development of a Mexican marijuana market that is recreationally legal is likely to start a massive influx of capital into the region – even if just to displace traditional “landed” interests that might have previous experience in the drug industry in the country – but not from the legal side of the world.

And in an irony of history, Mexico will lead drug reform north of the border, by legalizing a market and industry on a federal level that the U.S. at least, for all of its forward reform at the state level, has yet to embrace.

A revolution indeed. And further one that will undoubtedly become, beyond state reform domestically, the final nail in the coffin of prohibition in the U.S. as well.

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