Mexico is set to hold a series of debates about marijuana legalization. The first debate is scheduled for January 25, with the last one wrapping up on February 17. I first heard about the announcement via Tom Angell, who wrote about the debate schedule recently on Marijuana.Com:
A leading Mexican lawmaker just announced that the country's Congress will hold a series of debates on legalizing marijuana in the new year.
"This will be an unprecedented year for Congress in terms of exchange of information, assessments and debate in which legislators and specialists participate," Jesus Zambrano Grijalva, president of the Congress's Permanent Committee, said in a press release on Sunday. "We can discuss, ask questions, doubts, listen to opinions, suggestions on what should be a comprehensive policy for drugs in our country. This is an issue that we have to discuss, so it must be a true exercise of enrichment."
The announcement of the debate sessions, which are set to begin on January 25, comes less than two months after Mexico's Supreme Court ruled that individuals have a right to grow and distribute marijuana for personal use. While that case only currently applies to the four individuals who brought it, the right to cultivate and consume cannabis would become binding nationwide if the court ruled similarly a handful of additional times.
My main hope for these debates is that they are sincere, and that if/when valid points are made in regards to ending marijuana prohibition, that those points are fully taken into account by the Mexican government. Prohibition has torn Mexico apart, and hasn't fixed anything. All prohibition has done in Mexico is empower drug cartels who have caused an enormous amount of pain and suffering. If these debates end up being glorified 'dog and pony shows' it's going to be very disheartening. This is a crucial time in Mexico's history, and these debates are a golden opportunity to have constructive conversations that can hopefully lead to positive public policy changes.