17 | AGO | 2019
Is marijuana really legal in Mexico?
Mexican citizens who wish to grow marijuana and consume it for leisure purposes must first apply for a special permit before the Federal Commission for the Protection Against Sanitary Risks - Photo: Justin Tang/AP

Is marijuana really legal in Mexico?

26/02/2019
15:39
Diana Lastiri
Mexico City
-A +A
Mexico’s federal judges will now be required to grant “amparo” appeals for the recreational use of marijuana

As of yesterday, all of Mexico’s federal judges will be required to grant amparo appeals for the recreational use of marijuana. However, this does not imply that marijuana has been legalized in Mexico.

Last Friday, the Supeme Court of Justice (SCJN) published eight sentences issued by the First Chamber, recognizing the right to the unhindered development of human personality, freedom of thought and expression, as well as the right to good health. With this in mind, the Mexican State is compelled to respect the citizens’ right to use cannabis for recreation purposes.

These eight sentences shaped a case-law issued last October by the First Chamber through which marijuana cultivation for recreation purposes was endorsed.

Nonetheless, this does not translate into an immediate effect for citizens who wish to exercise this right, nor does it imply that they will be able to file amparo appeals for said purpose right away.

So how does it work?

Mexican citizens who wish to grow marijuana and consume it for leisure purposes must first apply for a special permit before the Federal Commission for the Protection Against Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) that allows them to grow cannabis seeds.

However, since the issuance of said permit is prohibited by the General Health Law, the COFEPRIS will deny the request.

Once the application is rejected, the citizen may turn to a federal appeal judge to request for the case-law to be applied in court so that he or she may be allowed to grow cannabis for personal consumption with recreational purposes.

The indirect appeal lawsuit shall then be settled by a District Judge in Administrative Matters, who may not refuse legal protection. Should he decide to do so, it will be up to a Collegiate Tribunal to apply the case-law and grant the request.

Once said request is granted, the COFEPRIS will have to issue the permit to grow marijuana.

Disadvantages

The case-law does not specify in what way citizens may acquire the cannabis seeds legally for cultivation.

This is due to the fact that cannabis seeds must be imported for them to be legal. However, they are still prohibited by Mexican law.

Hitherto, the supreme court has only issued one amparo appeal by which the COFEPRIS was ordered to file a permit for the former presidential candidate Armando Ríos Píter to be able to “acquire cannabis seeds for the growth, harvest, possession, and transport of marijuana.”

In its ruling, the SCJN declared that the COFEPRIS would be in charge of determining the specific mode and amount of seeds to be acquired by means of special permits and legal holders.
 

Artículo

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