A new draft bill regarding nationwide cannabis legalization reform in Mexico is currently under review by senators voting on the proposal set before December 15th, as reported in Leafly.
Mexican lawmakers have not officially presented the bill while it is being revised and reviewed, but the latest version has been circulating online. The legislative document shows how Mexico’s Congress of the Union plans adult-use cannabis legalization.
The country’s Supreme Court decriminalized personal cultivation and consumption of cannabis in Mexico in an 8 to 3 decision.
Under the new proposal, adults aged 18 years or older can consume cannabis legally. It will also allow consumers to carry up to one ounce of cannabis.
People found carrying between over one ounce to seven ounces may be fined $500 or more. Anything over seven ounces can be charged as a crime with a sentence of up to three years.
If the law passes, retail cannabis licenses will be issued to qualifying businesses within 18 months.
Forty percent of cultivation licenses will be granted to struggling rural farmers for only five years. After five years, 20% of cultivation licenses awarded will be toward poor farmers.
Any business found growing cannabis without a license will risk a potential jail term of up to six years.
If a business becomes licensed to cultivate cannabis, they will be granted 10 thousand square meters each outdoors and up to one thousand square meters indoors under the new law.
Government regulators will have the ability to increase the granted area. The new bill also states that a cannabis agency under the Ministry of Health will regulate grow permits and direct educational campaigns.
The new proposal also prohibits people from smoking cannabis if they do not have the full consent of the other people present. If people plan to smoke cannabis in a water bong indoors, then under the new law, they will need to install physical barriers to prevent secondhand smoke.
Both of the previously mentioned proposals have been met with criticism due to how difficult it will be to supervise and enforce them.
It is unknown if people with cannabis-related convictions will have their crimes expunged under the new proposed bill.
Cannabis legalization is seen by many as a way to deal with the illegal drug trade involving cartels. Cannabis from the United States is also highly sought after as it is smuggled into Mexico.
If the Senate approves the legislation, it will go to the lower house of the Mexican congress for another voting session set for next spring.
It remains to be seen whether Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will veto the bill or provide vocal support.