Marijuana could be on its way to legalization in Mexico City. PHOTO: Reuters
Mexico City, North America’s largest metropolis at nearly 9 million, is considering a legal workaround to legalize marijuana. Mexico has long been ravaged by drug wars, and legalization is seen as a way out of a horrible situation. Enormous cartels, such as the Zetas, control many Mexican towns and even have their own military. Legalizing marijuana is seen as a way to cut their funds and allow police to focus on more serious crimes. A number of bills are making their way through the Mexico City legislature.
“The war against drugs is a failure. We are not going to win it,” says assemblyman Vidal Llerenas, who is pushing legislation to effectively legalize marijuana. “We cannot hope for a drug-free world. But we can hope to limit the damage and take the profits away from organized crime.”
Marijuana prohibition has had all the same effects as alcohol prohibition—it doesn’t stop use, it just creates a black market which funds gangs—but the world has been slower to organize around legalizing marijuana. In the Americas, however, there is a thaw, and marijuana legalization looks to be well on its way.
With U.S. states Colorado and Washington having legalized marijuana, and more suspected to make that move in the coming years, and Uruguay also strongly considering legalizing marijuana, Mexico City sees support on both sides to make that move.
As in the U.S., marijuana is illegal in the country of Mexico, but Mexico City lawmakers could theoretically create a work around by providing legal space for cannabis clubs where users would pay for marijuana to be grown for their own personal use. This would essentially be legalization by another name.