A senior Mexican politician was handed a joint in the Chamber of Deputies this week to remind her of a cannabis legalization pledge.
Secretary of the Interior Olga Sánchez Cordero has frequently voiced her support for the legalization of adult-use marijuana. She is a prominent member of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s cabinet, which has promised to make cannabis legal to help end the country’s war on drugs.
Ana Lucía Riojas Martínez, an independent federal deputy, was addressing the floor of the Chamber of Deputies when she handed Sánchez Cordero the churro. The Secretary of the Interior reacted well to the stunt and gave the deputy a hug before wielding it aloft with a large smile on her face.
Riojas told the Chamber of Deputies that legalizing and regulating the use of cannabis will help build peace in Mexico. “To close this intervention, I bring you a gift as a reminder of that proposal you made at the beginning, because that goes to be the path that helps us build peace,” said Riojas.
Sen. Ricardo Monreal, the Senate leader of Mexico’s ruling MORENA party, confirmed this week that the government will legalize marijuana by the end of the month. He said it is just putting the finishing touches on a reform bill and that it would be enacted without delay.
Last year Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that a blanket ban on recreational cannabis use is unconstitutional, which obliged the government to legalize it. The court set a deadline of October 2019 for lawmakers to formally end the prohibition by October 2019, and the government appears keen to meet that deadline.
Mario Delgado Carrillo, the coordinator of the MORENA party’s bench in the Chamber of Deputies, filed legislation last week proposing a state-owned company called Cannsalud to control the marijuana supply chain.
It has since transpired that Obrado and Monreal are not keen on a state-run program, but Monreal said some parts of the proposed law would be adopted.
In August, Mexico’s highest court gave the Ministry of Health 180 business days to release regulations that shape a new medical marijuana industry for the country.