The legalization of marijuana is one step closer after three Senate committees broadly approved a draft bill that seeks to regulate the plant for medicinal, recreational and industrial use.
At a joint meeting of the Justice, Health and Legislative Studies committees, 26 senators voted in favor of the bill, seven voted against it and eight abstained. The proposed law was approved “en lo general,” or in a general sense, meaning that the individual articles within it remain up for debate and are subject to modification.
The bill, which seeks to make changes to the Federal Health Law and federal criminal code, proposes legalizing the possession by adults of 28 grams of marijuana for personal use. Legal possession of the plant is currently limited to five grams.
The bill also proposes allowing people who require marijuana for medicinal purposes to grow up to 20 plants with the permission of the Mexican Cannabis Institute, a new government department that is not yet operational.
In addition, it stipulates that marijuana possession will not be punished as a drug trafficking offense until a person is carrying more than 200 grams. Prison sentences of up to 10 years can be imposed on people in possession of between 200 grams and 56 kilograms of marijuana, according to the draft bill. [Read more at Mexico News Daily]