Mexico‘s Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday approved a bill paving the way for the legalization of recreational marijuana use, which will next need approval from the Senate.
The lower chamber of congress gave their approval – with 316 votes in favour out of 468 – which will allow people over the age of 18 to carry up to 28 grams of cannabis and open weed clubs as well as legally grow and sell the drug in authorized locations.
The project had been approved by the Senate in November, but the Chamber of Deputies made a number of changes to it which still need to be approved by the upper chamber of Congress, a spokesperson for the Senate’s Justice Commission told dpa.
The new law would end more than 100 years of prohibition in Mexico, a country plagued by drug cartel violence.
The Latin American nation of 126 million inhabitants would become the third country in the world to legalize marijuana nationwide after Uruguay and Canada.
The discussion was ordered by the Supreme Court, which in 2019 ruled that a complete ban on recreational use of marijuana was unconstitutional, saying that all persons of legal age have the right to “decide – without any interference – what kind of recreational activities they wish to carry out.”
It also clarified that this right is not absolute and that certain drugs must be regulated, but that the effects of marijuana “do not justify an absolute prohibition on its use.”