Mexico looks set to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, with the country’s Supreme Court finding a blanket ban on the drug unconstitutional.
The verdict has paved the way for the government to regularize cultivation and possession of marijuana. However, analysts say the judgement did not give the green signal for commercializing the drug.
The incoming government officials have welcomed the verdict, expressing an interest in legalizing the drug, according to Reuters. Such a move, officials say, will destroy the black market controlled by the country’s violent drug gangs, besides helping local farmers gain an additional source of income.
Some analysts have gone to the extent of saying that legal marijuana would bring an end to America’s disastrous war on drugs.
However, opponents of the drug say legalizing could increase consumption substantially, blurring the line between legal and illegal suppliers.
As a result of the Mexican court verdict, people cannot be punished for consuming a small amount of cannabis.
“That right is not absolute, and the consumption of certain substances may be regulated, but the effects provoked by marijuana do not justify an absolute prohibition of its consumption,” the ruling said, according to AP.
If the administration goes ahead with its plan, Mexico will become the second country in Latin America after Uruguay to legalize pot.
As many as nine US states have already legalized the drug for recreational purposes, with many other states planning to follow suit.