Enrique Peña Nieto, the President of Mexico, has issued a decree confirming the legalization of using cannabis for medicinal purposes. The measure was signed after complete support from the lower house of Congress.
Although Peña Nieto did not support legalization bills earlier, he called for some changes in the country’s drug policy after a nationwide debate on medicinal cannabis in early 2016. According to the President, Mexican drug laws needed to move “beyond prohibition to effective prevention.”
Last year, Peña Nieto introduced a new measure that would allow Mexican citizens to possess up to one ounce of marijuana without repercussions. However, the bill stalled in the country’s Congress.
The medical cannabis bill successfully passed the Senate in 2016, then the lower house of Parliament approved it in April. Dr. José Narro Robles, Mexico’s Secretary of Health, also welcomed the new legalization bill.
The decree was finally signed today. It specifies that the Ministry of Health will be now responsible for implementing new rules that regulate the policies regarding all forms and varieties of marijuana, including THC, its stereochemical variants and isomers. Moreover, the Ministry of Health will be tasked with monitoring the national production and research on the herb.
The new measure decriminalizes using marijuana for medicinal purposes, as well as allows both the production and distribution of cannabis products for therapeutic use.
Currently, the only kind of weed that will be permitted has to contain 1% or less of THC. There is still a long way to go, but the country has finally surpassed the biggest obstacle on the way to legalizing marijuana.