At the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs in New York on Tuesday, Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto unveiled his support for the legalization of medical marijuana.
"I am giving voice to those who have expressed the necessity of changing the regulatory framework to authorize the use of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes," Pena Nieto said in a speech at UNGASS, adding that groups in Mexico have "showed the need to lift, in accordance with international standards, the amount of marijuana that can be considered for personal use, with the purpose of not criminalizing users.”
Pena Nieto will release details of how Mexico might implement the policy shift later this week.
He also said that prohibition has brought violence to Mexico, and like some other Latin American leaders at UNGASS, urged countries driving consumption to acknowledge their role. He advocated for a public health approach that prioritizes human rights and the wellbeing of individuals.
UNGASS, originally scheduled for 2019, came three years early at the urging of Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia.