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Thursday, May 19, 2022
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Mexico’s cannabis bill must be resolved within days, says health commission president

Lawmakers across several political parties say they’re pushing to pass the long-delayed legislation

Mexico's cannabis bill must be resolved within days, says health commission president
During a meeting Tuesday, the health commission's new leader Lilia Margarita Valdez Martinez said she received the justice commission's draft report on the proposed cannabis regulations for review. Photo via Senadores Morena

Mexican commissions revising the proposed cannabis legislation need to work together and vote within the next few days, says the president of the Senate’s health commission.

In a meeting on Tuesday, the commission’s new leader Lilia Margarita Valdez Martinez said she received the justice commission’s draft report on the draft cannabis regulations, to be reviewed by her group.

She says members from both commissions need to meet “to see if we can resolve this topic within the following days.”

Senators from the health commission will now revise and comment on the proposed draft. “I am very convinced on teamwork and I know that if everyone does their part, things will come to a good ending,” Valdez Martinez said.

She has replaced Senator Americo Villareal Anaya, who has been authorized for temporary leave to pursue state governorship. President of the justice commission — the second commission to revise the bill — Julio Menchaca Salazar has also expressed his intention to leave temporarily to pursue a different state governorship, but hasn’t yet formally asked for permission.

Since the start of the current legislative session on Feb. 1, Senate president Olga Maria del Carmen Sanchez Cordero Davila has also reassured that lawmakers will be working on the long-delayed cannabis file.

Movimiento Ciudadano Senator Patricia Mercado says it’s important that the revising commissions meet as soon as possible to enrich and make progress on the bill.

“So that before the end of the ordinary period, the plenary session of the Senate can vote on a ruling,” Mercado said in a statement. She noted the delays in passing the bill and hard it was to finally create a draft report.

Read more: Mexican Supreme Court ends weed prohibition, effectively decriminalizes personal use

Read more: Mexico won’t legalize cannabis this year

During Tuesday’s meeting, health commission Senator Maria Antonia Cardenas Mariscal said that it’s fundamental to vote on agreements that will offer answers and solutions to citizens’ needs.

Other lawmakers such as Partido del Trabajo Senator Cora Cecilia Pinedo Alonso argue that it’s necessary to also include industrial hemp regulations, because of the economic potential it has and to “refresh this beaten and overwhelmed industry.”

Senator Jose Alfredo Botello Montes from the Partido Accion Nacional says Congress has an obligation imposed by the Supreme Court, and its members should pass a bill “because we are the ones who will do it, overseeing and guaranteeing the health of all Mexicans.”

Read more: Mexico’s cannabis regulations still a top priority, reassures Senate president

After the commissions finish commenting on and approve the bill, the next step is to present it as a draft report to the Senate, which will then discuss and voted on in it.

Meanwhile, a separate initiative proposed by Morena deputy Temistocles Villanueva has been presented to Mexico City’s senate to allow consumption spaces in the capital.

Villanueva worked with the oldest cannabis activist group in the country, Plantón 420, to develop draft regulations focused on human rights, including unlimited self-cultivation, possession and respectful treatment.

After Mexico’s Supreme Court declared cannabis consumption a human right in 2018 and demanded Congress pass a law, lawmakers have missed multiple deadlines.

Without a legal framework, ministers modified articles from the general health law last year to eliminate the administrative prohibition of cannabis, and enacted a declaration of unconstitutionality in July.

Read more: Senators, activists working together to pass Mexico’s cannabis law before mid-December

Read more: Mexican lawmakers reassure cannabis bill will be passed by end of year

 

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