Mexico approves legalising medical marijuana

Bill received broad support from politicians 

Will Worley
Saturday 29 April 2017 20:36 BST
President Nieto is expected to approve the bill
President Nieto is expected to approve the bill (2006 Getty Images)

Mexico’s Congress has approved the legalisation of medicinal cannabis.

A bill proposing to allow its use for scientific and health purposes was passed easily in the country’s Senate last December.

On Friday, the Lower House of Congress voted 371 in favour of the bill, with only 19 politicians voting against it or abstaining.

The bill will now go to President Enrique Pena Nieto, who is expected to sign it.

"The ruling eliminates the prohibition and criminalisation of acts related to the medicinal use of marijuana and its scientific research, and those relating to the production and distribution of the plant for these purposes," the Lower House said in a statement on its website.

Representative Arturo Alvarez of the Green Party said: "This is a step in the right direction of exploring new alternatives of regulated, legalized and supervised use, and can open up a new front for authorities to combat addictions and the violence that arises from the illicit activities of drug growing, trafficking and consumption."

Representative Rosa Alba Ramirez of the small Citizens' Movement party said: "This is not opening the door for a general and unchecked consumption because it includes measures so the health department can ensure it is not being abused or distorted to widen it to recreational use."

President Nieto – once anti-drugs – has called for a global rethink towards narcotics. He said they should be viewed through a public health lens which doesn’t criminalise users.

Mexico has been particularly hard hit by drug violence. An ongoing drugs war has killed around 80,000 people since 2006.

Additional support by agencies

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