Mexican newspapers are reporting that Senator Olga Sánchez Cordero, the incoming Interior Secretary for President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has introduced a General Law, which essentially makes it legal to consume, possess, cultivate and sell cannabis, according to the initiative published in Tuesday’s Senate Parliamentary Gazette.
The legislation would create a new Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis under Mexico’s Ministry of Health, which will oversee the program that includes cultivation licensing and permits, harvesting, transportation, processing and sales for adults, while strictly prohibiting providing marijuana to minors, according to the Mexican daily Excelsior.
Individuals would be allowed to grow up to 20 mature cannabis plants for personal consumption on private property and would be limited to producing 480 grams of marijuana per year.
In the past, Senator Sanchez has criticized Mexico’s decades of cannabis prohibition, blaming it for the drug trafficking violence that has plagued “all corners of the country while criminalizing vulnerable sectors of society for low impact activities related to cannabis.”
According to statistics from 2012, 62 percent of the inmate population in federal penitentiaries were connected to drug trafficking, with 58.7 percent of that population related to marijuana, although not necessarily for consumption, but for production, transportation, trade, supply, or possession.
The introduction of Tuesday’s cannabis legalization bill comes less than a week after the Mexican Supreme Court struck down the criminalization of cannabis on Oct. 31, 2018.
Medical and scientific research cannabis has been legal in Mexico since April 2017.
Meanwhile, the trial of a certain infamous Mexican drug trafficker is beginning soon in New York City.
Jury selection for Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán started on Monday Nov. 5, 2018 in Federal District Court in Brooklyn. El Chapo, leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, was extradited to New York from Mexico in January 2017.
The judge in Guzmán case ruled that the jury would remain anonymous and be escorted for their safety to and from the courthouse each day by US Marshals, such is the fear El Chapo seems to invoke.
“What scares me is I read that his family will come after jurors and their families,” said one of the potential jurors being interviewed. She added that she knew that Mr. Guzman had two sons who were still at large.
When a defense lawyer asked her if that made her nervous, she admitted that it did, reported the New York Times.