BY PETER ORSI
MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a bill approving the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, the latest in a series of legal changes and court rulings that have somewhat relaxed cannabis laws in Mexico.
The Senate said in a statement summarizing the debate that the measure directs the Health Department to “design public policies to regulate the medicinal use of this plant and its derivatives.”
The legislation now goes to the lower Chamber of Deputies for consideration.
Sen. Cristina Diaz Salazar, a member of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, said the measure aims to solve the urgent needs of Mexicans who are unable to access pot-based medicines.
According to the summary, she called it “a historic step.”
Some lawmakers argued that the bill does not go far enough because it does not cover individual cultivation of marijuana, other narcotics such as opium paste and poppies, or broader issues such as the war on drugs.
Sen. Armando Rios Piter of the leftist Democratic Revolution Party voted no. He acknowledged the legislation would benefit patients suffering from some chronic diseases, but called it a “very small” achievement that fails to address “the failure of the policy of combatting organized crime.”
“To celebrate that we are making a material change on marijuana would be fooling ourselves at this stage of the game,” Rios Piter was quoted as saying.
In the decade since then-President Felipe Calderon launched a militarized offensive against Mexico’s drug cartels, more than 100,000 people have been killed and some 30,000 more are missing.
Starting last year the Mexican government began granting permits letting some patients import medicinal marijuana products. It has also decriminalized small amounts of marijuana and issued several permits for people to cultivate and possess pot for personal use.
Those permits have only covered the specific individuals involved, however, rather than blanket laws applicable to all of Mexican society.
The bill passed Tuesday would also authorize cultivation of marijuana plants for medical and scientific purposes and establish that industrial products with concentrations of 1 percent THC or less would be legal to buy, sell, import and export.
It was approved on a vote of 98-7, with one abstention.
You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.
New Study Shows Joints Waste 300 Percent More THC Than Dabs
High Times to Acquire Spannabis, Europe’s Largest Cannabis Event
Cannabis Legalization Could Help Fund Education Needs In Maryland
High Folks: La Kia Gooch is Fighting to Stand Out
News7 days ago
Cop Caught with Child Porn Serves 90 Days in Jail; Man Selling Weed Gets 5 Year Sentence
Culture7 days ago
10 Video Games to Play High as Hell in 2019
News6 days ago
Governor of New York Presents Plan to Legalize Recreational Marijuana
Activism3 days ago
Canadian Cannabis Activist Marc Emery Accused of Chronic Sexual Misconduct
News5 days ago
Marijuana Legalization Bill Killed by Virginia Lawmakers
News4 days ago
Iowa Mayor Charged For Growing 18 Marijuana Plants in Her Home
Laws7 days ago
Mass. Court Ruling: Police Can Arrest for Drugged Driving Based on Observations
News6 days ago
Terminally Ill Patients in Australian Hospital to be Treated with Psilocybin