President Enrique Pena Nieto announced last week that he will be urging Mexico’s Congress to increase the limit on decriminalized cannabis for recreational use to twenty-eight grams, which is just near an ounce. At the moment, someone in Mexico can only hold up to five grams before being subjected to incarceration.

“This means that consumption would no longer be criminalized,” Pena Nieto stated.

Possession of greater amounts would still make someone subject to prosecution due to drug trafficking laws.

“We Mexicans know all too well the range and the defects of prohibitionist and punitive policies, and of the so-called war on drugs that has prevailed for 40 years,” Pena Nieto added. “Our country has suffered, as few have the ill effects of organized crime tied to drug trafficking. Fortunately, a new consensus is gradually emerging worldwide in favor of reforming drug policies. A growing number of countries are strenuously combating criminals, but instead of criminalizing consumers, they offer them alternatives and opportunities.”

Pena Nieto’s idea would allow people to utilize and bring in marijuana-infused medications, and it would free people who are on trial for having between five grams to an ounce of cannabis. This proposal comes after Mexico’s Supreme Court allowed four people to grow and consume marijuana recreationally.

“Without doubt, we set aside the ‘all or nothing’ approach, in favor of one that put the public health aspect first,” Jose Narro Robles, rector of Mexico’s National University, said. “It is a process we can all feel satisfied with.”

The executive director of the U.S. Drug Policy Alliance Ethan Nadelmann, says that the measure is “a modest but important step in the right direction… The problem, of course, is that this falls so far short of what other countries are already doing successfully in Europe and the Americas, and so far short of what’s needed in Mexico.”

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