HomeNewsBriefMexico City Marijuana Bill Comes Amid Regional Drug War Criticism
BRIEF

Mexico City Marijuana Bill Comes Amid Regional Drug War Criticism

DRUG POLICY / 14 FEB 2014 BY MICHAEL LOHMULLER EN

Lawmakers in Mexico City have submitted proposed legislation that would decriminalize marijuana use in the capital, an initiative that has drawn praise from regional leaders but also raises questions about the effects of such a move.

On February 13, Mexico City lawmakers presented a bill to the Legislative Assembly for the decriminalization of marijuana use and regulation of sales, reported Animal Politico.

The bill, set to be analyzed next month, has three central proposals: 1) those carrying five grams of marijuana -- the maximum personal dose not subject to criminal penalties -- could no longer be detained and made to undergo addiction treatment as current law stipulates; 2) the city government would regulate and monitor marijuana sales through approving designated distribution points; 3) a risk reduction system would be created to help protect the health of users.

The proposal, say lawmakers, does not seek to promote consumption, but rather, to decriminalize it and minimize consumption-related risks.

Under the proposed legislation, the cultivation of marijuana would still be treated as a federal offense, as would the possession of over five kilos of the substance, while possession over five grams and below five kilos deemed for personal consumption would see a person entered into a deterrence program.

Former presidents of Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Brazil expressed their support for the initiative in a letter, praising the city's efforts "to promote a change of paradigm that will allow us, gradually and orderly, to transition towards responsible regulation."

InSight Crime Analysis

This long-awaited bill comes amid growing calls to decriminalize marijuana in Mexico, as well as moves by regional leaders to explore alternatives to current drug policies in the face of a perceived failure of the US-led "war on drugs." 

Countries such as Colombia and Peru have already decriminalized possession of limited amounts of marijuana, and Uruguay recently became the first country to pass a law regulating the drug's entire production and distribution chain.

SEE ALSO: Uruguay: Marijuana, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

How to formulate drug policies that will ultimately cut the profits of criminal groups is a tricky question and Mexico City's proposed legislation raises the key issue that, with marijuana still sourced from the illicit market, a consumption-yes, production-no policy could have the unintended effect of boosting criminal profits. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COCA / 17 MAR 2021

The US State Department’s annual drug control strategy report calls for Colombia to restart the aerial eradication of coca crops,…

DRUG POLICY / 16 MAR 2020

Paraguay issued its first-ever medical cannabis licenses this February, marking a major shift for the marijuana-producing country while…

LA UNIÓN TEPITO / 31 OCT 2019

A recent raid against the La Unión Tepito gang in Mexico City may not have a lasting impact on the group's…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…