The medical marijuana market in Mexico is about to be booming due to some recent major changes set forth by the Mexican government. The industry now has the opportunity to be worth anywhere from $10 to $12 billion annually in the country. Many of these changes have been sparked by states in the US that have legalized marijuana for medicinal uses — raising questions about whether the country is paying too high of a price for the “war on drugs.”
Enrique Peña Nieto, the current President of Mexico, announced that he would be sending a bill to the Senate. The bill would legalize the medicinal uses of marijuana as well as increase the amount that an individual may possess at any given time. As much as 64 percent of Mexicans support legalization of the plant, according to a February survey.
The bill would free any individual on trial or in jail for possession of marijuana up to one ounce – and Peña Nieto says this is a way to decriminalize the consumption of the drug. Individuals, as long as they have a prescription, would be able to carry up to one ounce for personal use. Right now, the federal law in the country prohibits the production, sale, and possession of marijuana, even medical marijuana. However, having less than 5 grams is only punishable with a fine.
Peña Nieto has not supported the legalization of medical marijuana for quite some time. In fact, his stance was the opposite of what he said on April 21. Previously, he has stated that he did not want to relax the country’s drug laws as there were other ways to reduce the power of organized crime. He also stated that he would not put children’s health at risk by legalizing marijuana to fund the war on drugs. He was firm in the belief that the drug damages the health of both children and adults.