Mexico Announces Plans To Legalize Cannabis Products in 2018

Last week, Mexico’s health regulator announced a plan to legalize the sale of cannabis products in 2018. The move surprised many due to Mexico’s notoriously rocky history with drugs. Major cartel activity has plagued the country throughout the nearly fifteen-year Mexican Drug war that by certain estimates has claimed more than 150,000 lives. The illegality of cannabis and other drugs in the United States and Mexico has allowed black market dealers and cartels to thrive.  The United States trend toward legalization as well as Mexico taking a huge step forward by legalizing the use of cannabis with a THC content of less than 1% for medicinal use had already begun to undercut the profits and productivity with Mexican cartels in 2017.

Cannabis Legalization In Mexico Becomes A Trend

By legalizing cannabis with a THC content of 1% or lower in June of 2017, Mexico set into motion the process by which cannabis use eventually becomes legal nationwide. The most recent announcement by the Mexican health regulation department will piggyback on the June legislation and allow the sale of medicines, foods, drinks, and even cosmetics beginning early 2018.

Though the formal regulations are set to be released soon, it is already clear that by legalizing the production, sale, and purchase of cannabis products, the Mexican government is taking another step towards combatting deadly drug violence due in large part to drug prohibition throughout the United States and Mexico. The new regulations will permit the sale of cannabis-infused products, but the sale or possession of pure cannabis will remain outlawed in Mexico.

Why Legalization in Mexico Matters

While advancing the legalization of cannabis in Mexico has a very positive impact for the people who need it to treat, pain, anxiety, or chronic disease, the biggest impact will be the decrease of cartel activity. More than 150,000 people have died during Mexico’s drug war and many more have been kidnapped or displaced. It is generally accepted by experts that U.S. cannabis legalization efforts have led directly to a decrease in profits for the cartel. Cartel profits will only continue to decline should Mexico continue to follow the lead of its northern neighbors when it comes to marijuana legalization.

Much like in the United States, it remains unclear how far away complete legalization is in Mexico. This most recent move to legalize the production of cannabis-infused products is a step towards the goal of complete legalization but its success will likely determine the course cannabis in Mexico takes moving forward.

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