First Time Mexico Permits the Individual Use of Recreational Marijuana

First Time Mexico Permits the Individual Use of Recreational Marijuana

This past Wednesday, Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of private recreational marijuana use, challenging the country’s strict drug laws and setting precedent for nationwide legalization in a country plagued by federal conflict over drugs.   [1]

Appealing to right to personal freedom, four members of the group “Smart” requested permission to recreationally using marijuana.  The men framed their argument on the premise that in curbing private behavior Mexico’s drug policies were unconstitutional; the case reached the Supreme Court [2] [3].  The Court ruled in their favor and guaranteed them protection. Unlike in the United States, however, the ruling will not become national law unless a total of five similar rulings are given [4].

For decades, Mexico’s conservative drug policies, based on American anti-drug campaigns during the 20th century, have been largely ineffective [5]. From 2006 to 2012, for example, over 60,000 people have been killed in drug-related incidents [6]. Cartels gross over $20 billion a year with underhand illegal drug sales in the U.S. [7].  Many believe that legalizing marijuana would reduce black market operations.

Legalizing the drug would also allow the government to save resources on “low impact crimes” [8]. According to surveys conducted by Mr. Perez Correa, almost 60% of all drug-oriented sentences are related to marijuana and the government pays “an enormous institutional and social cost to enforce the laws against marijuana.”

This ruling is the first to describe the banishment of marijuana as a violation of a human right and will have a significant global impact [9].

by Gianluca Minardi ’17