Mexico’s Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill legalizing medicinal cannabis use 98-7, according to a Deutsche Welle report. The legislation will move to the lower Chamber of Deputies and, if passed, would then move to President Enrique Peña Nieto for final approval.
Advocates say that wider legalization measures are needed in the country to help combat drug trafficking-related cartel violence, but that the proposal does address the need for alternative medical treatment. The measure directs the federal Health Department to “design public policies to regulate the medicinal use of this plant and its derivatives.” It would also allow the sale, import and export of products containing concentrations of 1 percent THC or less.
Senator Angélica De la Peña Gómez indicated that lawmakers needed to “do something different in drug policy” because of the “high level of violence” associated with prohibition in the country – which, she said, has led to “more than 100,000 deaths and the systemic violation of human rights.”
Last April, Peña Nieto backed legislation that would allow Mexicans to possess 1 ounce of cannabis for personal use. However, that bill has yet to make it to the floor for a vote. Under current Mexican law, possession of up to 5 grams of cannabis, 50 milligrams of cocaine, and 40 milligrams of methamphetamine is decriminalized.
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