|SAN ANTONIO, September 12 - In Mexico, the use of marijuana is generally considered an act contrary to good morals, and its production, trafficking and consumption are penalized.
Nevertheless, there is a movement in the capital of the country to debate this matter. In all likelihood, this is attributable to the ideological openness in the “new” Mexico, as well as the movement in favor of legalization of marijuana in the United States.
The legalization of marijuana in the United States implies that efforts in Mexico and lives lost to prevent marijuana from entering the United States are useless when many states in the United States allow its consumption, cultivation and commercial distribution. There are three groups that are taking part in this debate: (1) those in favor of opening up discussions; (2) those who, while do not necessarily oppose the discussion, fear a negative social impact; and (3) the middle group, which is perhaps the larger, formed mostly by young adults and intellectuals that are pushing for a debate and contributing arguments, mostly in favor of some degree of legalization of marijuana in Mexico.
There are legal barriers that must be adhered to given that in Mexico, as is the case in the United States, the subject matter of the fight against drugs and applicable policies belongs to the federal government.
If laws legalizing marijuana are passed in Mexico, which is a real possibility in the Federal District and the state of Morelos, it is likely that the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation would have to resolve a constitutional controversy in the event that the federal government opposes legalization and claims jurisdiction on the matter.
There are also limitations that arise from international laws given that Mexico, like over a hundred other countries, is part of international conventions that condemn the use of marijuana. This is likely to result in a topic for political discussion leading to ideological confrontation.
Dr. Mario Melgar-Adalid is a member of Mexico’s National System of Researchers (SNI). He is a Law researcher at UNAM’s Institute of Juridical Research and currently an Of Counsel at Cacheaux, Cavazos & Newton, L.L.P. in San Antonio. He writes a regular column for CCN's monthly Mexico Report, which also appears in the Guardian. To view all previous versions of the CCN Mexico Report, go to: http://www.ccn-law.com/