September 17, 2019

The War on Drugs: Mexico Will Legalize Before the United States

September 17, 2019
America will soon become the only North American country without federally legalized cannabis.

We have the largest economy. We make the coolest cars. Our women dominate in soccer.

America is number one.


When it comes to legalizing cannabis at the federal level, the United States may be dead last.

Not in the world, but out of all the countries in North America, the States are falling behind.

Recently, it’s become even more likely that the United States will wind up being the third country to federally legalize cannabis. Provided it actually does, of course. Eventually.

The Order of Events

Canada officially legalized cannabis at the federal level in October of 2018.

The United States has seen a range of cannabis laws enacted at the state level.

Mexico is going through its own process.

In their system, five similar rulings in the courts set a jurisprudence. Since the Mexican courts have ruled five times that an outright ban on recreational cannabis is unconstitutional, the laws against recreational cannabis use are essentially null and void.

However, the laws remain on the books. While you could still be arrested for cannabis use in Mexico, any personal, recreational use wouldn’t be punished by the courts due to the jurisprudence already set.

Thankfully, those laws are about to be flipped upside down.

The Most Recent Legislative Move

The Mexican legislature was given a deadline of October 2019 to produce legislation that aligns with the courts’ decisions. Recently, the Senate has taken a major step towards legalizing cannabis at the federal levels in Mexico.

As first reported by Marijuana Moment, Senator Julio Menchaca Salazar filed legislation on Tuesday, September 3, 2019, that would officially legalize cannabis in Mexico.

For personal, recreational use of cannabis, the bill covers:

  • Cultivation
  • Possession
  • Consumption

The bill aims to amend the legal framework around cannabis in Mexico and the use of hemp in textiles.

Several other important Mexican senators have co-sponsored the bill and the country’s President has expressed his support for federal legalization in the past.

What does this mean for North America?

Predictions of Mexican Legalization

All of this means that Mexico is going to legalize cannabis before the US.

Of course, American politics are unpredictable and legalization could sporadically happen with the stroke of a giant sharpie.

However, pending any quick-moving upheavals, Mexico is on-course to put America in last place for cannabis legalization.

We asked Jorge J. Rubio Esconola—Chief of Staff at the ISSSTE, a Mexican health institution operated by the federal government, and a man deeply involved in the ongoing process—if legislation will be officially made law by the end of November.

Without pause, he replied, “yes, I think between October and late November.”

He is particularly excited about the regulation of hemp. In a recent podcast, he said that he believes Mexico will become a major player in the worldwide hemp industry.

While many believe the best cannabis comes from California or Canada, people often forget that Mexico has an ideal climate for growing a range of cannabis varieties.

Thanks to the new legislation, Mexico may soon change the face of cannabis in North America, making USA…number three.

Written by: Nicholas Demski, Staff Writer for Terpenes and Testing Magazine 


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