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A national debate on restructuring Mexico’s marijuana legislation will consider easing custodial sentences and increasing the amount of the drug that people can have on their personal possession, in reference to the government officials who were given the task with overseeing the process.

Reviewing a challenge to current existing laws, the court came to decision that a group of four people should be allowed to grow and consume their own cannabis, opening the door to a change in the law in a country long battered by drug cartel violence.

The court’s decision was quickly followed by a Senate proposal from within President Enrique Pena Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party to legalize medicinal use of cannabis, which looks to have a good amount of cross-party support.

The consultation process due to run from January to March will take a wider view of marijuana policy and its impact on the criminal justice system, Campa stated, careful to stress the government should not anticipate its outcome.

Close to 60 percent of those inmates stated they were brought to jail for marijuana offenses, according to the study.

Back in 2009, Mexico decriminalized marijuana allowing the people to posses of up to 5 grams of marijuana as well as small amounts of other drugs, and Campa stated public health authorities believed it could make sense to raise the pot threshold.

U.S. states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana, including Washington, Colorado, and Oregon, permit possession of at least 28 grams, he stated.

The debate will also highlight a troubling issue left open by the Supreme Court -where anyone allowed to cultivate marijuana should acquire the seeds from, he added.

Polls in Mexico show a clear majority of the public is opposed to legalizing pot, Campa noted.

The reform debate is also taking place in the context of steps to liberalize policy in countries such as the United States, he added.

Voter surveys point out that California could next year join the ranks of states to legalize recreational marijuana usage, and Mexico will be paying close attention to events there.

“We can’t ignore the relevance of the decisions in the United States, and we can’t ignore the fact that a change in California will have very important implications in the United States and also in Mexico,” stated Campa.


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