After his landslide victory in the presidential race, the leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador is now Mexico’s president.
Several movements in his administration hints that in his term, Mexico might become the 3rd country in the world that will fully legalize cannabis.
Although President López Obrador still has not confirmed that he will indeed legalize the drug publicly, his interior secretary, Olga Sánchez Cordero has done just that by calling for the end of the ban on cannabis cultivation in the country.
Sánchez Cordero has worked as a jurist in the Supreme Court of the country. She is also the first woman to hold the office of the interior secretary in Mexico.
Also an advocate for same-sex marriage and for abortion, Sánchez Cordero has been a supporter in making both opium poppies as well as cannabis and cannabis-infused substances legal in the country.
She said that it is one way to mitigate the violence which was the direct result of the all-out war on drugs initiated in 2006 by the former president Felipe Calderón.
Roughly 160,000 deaths were attributed to the drug war in the past 12 years. More than 29,000 murders were reported last year alone. Thousands of disappearances were also documented and the whereabouts of these missing people are still unknown.
“Canada has already decriminalized, as well as almost half of the states in the United States. What are we thinking? Why are we killing ourselves when North America and many European countries have decriminalized?” Sánchez Cordero said in a recent interview with W radio. “We are going to try to use the opium poppy for pharmaceutical purposes. Pharmacies buy a lot because they use it to make morphine, as there are many illnesses that require it for treatment.”
Along with the total cannabis legalization, President López Obrador’s interior secretary said that she would like to instate several programs for rehabilitation and drug use prevention.
Even though the president still has not publicly said that he is in favor of cannabis legalization, Sánchez Cordero claims that the president-elect does not oppose it and is very willing to look into this possibility hoping that it could be an answer in the reduction of drug-related violence that is running rampant in the country.
Just last month, the Mexican Congress has voted in favor of the law that made medical cannabis legal for the patients with few select conditions. Cannabis was made illegal in the country in 1917.
According to a report back in December last year, the Mexican government announced the guidelines which will permit the importation of the “pharmacological derivatives of cannabis”.
These products will be less than one percent THC as per agreed in their guidelines.
Patients who will seek for any cannabis medication of any form, from oils, pills, to any other derivatives which will contain more than one percent THC will be required to seek the approval of the government.
These rules particularly stated its prohibition of the use of smokable forms of cannabis, including vaping.
In an interview, Julio Sánchez y Tépoz, Mexico’s secretary of Federal Commission for Protection Against Health Risks commonly called as COFEPRIS, promised that the government is working on the regulations for cannabis dispensaries.
Sánchez y Tépoz added that he believes that as soon as the new regulations are put into place, there will be a lot of cannabis stores opening.
Experts forecast that it might take another two years for the formal integration of the rules for the dispensaries. However, the possibility that Mexico will legalize cannabis within that time frame is quite high with the new administration.