— A Guest Post by Adrián Cisneros Aguilar *
For the past 15 years, the global “War on Drugs” has shaped Mexico’s national security landscape. The Mexican government’s offensive against illegal drugs has taken two paths: head-on clashes with the cartels and significant updates to its drug policies.
A brief timeline of events specifically affecting cannabis in Mexico is in order.
In 2009, Mexico decriminalized possession of small amounts of various narcotics for immediate and personal use. Since then, possessing 5 grams or less of cannabis is not a crime. Then, in 2015, Mexico’s Supreme Court decriminalized cannabis cultivation by any adult (18 and up) for personal use. In 2017, amendments to the General Health Law and the Federal Criminal Code allowed limited cannabis use and consumption for qualified patients, possession for undertaking medical research, and import and export of medical cannabis products.
In 2018, Mexico’s Supreme Court declared Mexico’s general prohibition against adult use cannabis unconstitutional and also mandated that the Ministry of Health, COFEPRIS (Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks), and various other Mexican governmental agencies issue regulations to specifically address the establishment of a commercial cannabis chain for the distribution of cannabis.