A new proposal in the Senate would allow the legal possession of up to 28 grams of marijuana for personal use without the need to apply for a government license.
Developed by the upper house’s justice and health committees, the proposal states that 28 grams of pot is a “sensible amount” for people to be able to carry on their person or have in their homes.
Cultivation of up to six cannabis plants would also be legalized under the proposal backed by lawmakers from the ruling Morena party.
In order to legally possess a quantity of marijuana greater than 28 grams but not exceeding 200 grams, people must apply for a license that would be issued by the Mexican Cannabis Institute, a government agency that is expected to be up and running by January 1, 2021.
If found in possession of amounts between those two figures without a license, citizens could face an “administrative fine” of up to 10,500 pesos (US $560). More severe criminal penalties would apply if possession exceeds 200 grams.
The new Senate proposal also states that communities that have been adversely affected by drug trafficking and crime more broadly will be prioritized for the granting of marijuana cultivation licenses. A license holder would be limited to growing cannabis on one hectare of land outdoors or 1,000 square meters at an indoor facility.
If the proposal becomes law, the Mexican Cannabis Institute will also issue separate licenses for the preparation of marijuana for sale, the commercialization of the plant and its derivatives, and the import and export of cannabis products.
In addition, it would grant permits for research into the cultivation and preparation of marijuana for commercial purposes. However, the institute wouldn’t be responsible for setting the taxes on marijuana as was previously proposed.
There was an expectation in some quarters that legislation for the legalization and regulation of marijuana would be in place before the end of October 2019.
However, the Senate suspended debate on legalization at the end of that month, and the Supreme Court (SCJN) subsequently granted the upper house a six-month extension to legalize marijuana. The extension concludes on April 30.
The SCJN had set an October 31 deadline for lawmakers to legalize pot after publishing eight precedents on the recreational use of marijuana in February 2019 that determined that prohibition of the drug is unconstitutional.
Source: Milenio (sp)