News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Mar. 11, 2021: Another Latin American nation is moving towards legalizing the recreational use of cannabis.
Mexico’s lower house approved the bill Tuesday. It will now go to the Senate for a final vote, which President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s party is confident will pass.
This would make Mexico one of the world’s largest regulated markets for cannabis. Should the bill be approved, Mexico would become the third country in the world, after Uruguay and Canada, to legalize cannabis for recreational use nationwide.
Lawmakers voted in favor of the bill by 316 votes to 129. It had already been approved in the Senate in November, but another vote is needed following some alterations by the lower house.
The legislation would let users with a permit carry up to 28-g and grow as many as eight plants at home for personal use. At present, it is illegal to carry more than five grams.
It would also allow for other licenses for the cultivation, transformation, research and export or import of cannabis, Reuters news agency reports.
López Obrador has argued that the bill could help tackle the country’s powerful drug cartels. Mexico has struggled with a bloody war against powerful drug cartels, with violence killing thousands yearly.