Mexico Supreme Court favors marijuana legalization

Mexico’s Supreme Court decided on Monday that recreational marijuana should be legalized, bringing the country one step closer to having the one of the world’s largest weed markets.

"Today is a historic day for freedom. After a long journey, this Supreme Court consolidates the right to the free development of recreational use of marijuana. It is confirmed, once again, that the instruments of the Constitution work for the defense of these rights."

Monday’s decision removed final obstacles to legalizing recreational marijuana use by declaring prohibition of the plant unconstitutional.

It now puts pressure on the country’s Senate to approve a sweeping legalization bill that’s been stalled in Congress.

The proposed law is backed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s administration and if passed, would mark a major shift in a country scarred by drug cartel violence.

Lopez Obrador said on Monday legalizing weed could help the country.

"If we see that it does not help, that it is not good for the country, that it is not good for facing the serious problem of drug addiction, that it is not good for stopping violence, then we would act."

Cannabis activists, however, criticized the bill and Supreme Court ruling, which declared health authorities must initially issue permits for cannabis use.

The court said only people 18 years and older should be able to grow, carry or consume marijuana and its derivatives.

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