This past Wednesday, Mexico’s Supreme Court had ruled 4-to-1 that outlawing possession and the use of marijuana represents a violation of an essential part of human rights. The ruling only applies to the four plaintiffs that were part of this case and doesn’t become the law of land but it does allow lawmakers in Mexico to put forth reform bills on the state and federal level.
Hannah Hetzer, who is part of the Drug Policy Alliance stated in an interview “It’s really a monumental case, it was argued on human rights grounds, which is unusual, and it’s taking place in Mexico, the epicenter of some of the worst effects on the war on drugs.”
Four members of the Sociedad Mexicana de Autoconsumo Responsable y Tolerante , or S.M.A.R.T. for short, introduced the case to the Supreme Court. This group was specifically set up to challenge the law on this issue in Mexico. Ever since 2013 they had started filing legal arguments to grow, possess and consume marijuana but only until now did their case make it to the Supreme Court.
Their main argument was based on the concept of “the right to the free development of one’s personality,” which is stated in Mexico’s constitution. Essentially what the statement means is about self-determination. You can eat all the junk food you want to and the state can’t stop even though it is very bad for you. As long as you bring no harm to others around you, go crazy and have fun. The Supreme Court made their decision based on this argument and it fell under the same category.
Because of the way that the Supreme Court works in Mexico the ruling only applies to these four specific people and no one else, but it does bring chances to make new reform bills. This ruling also applies more pressure onto the U.N. to update their old school drug criminalization laws.
Hannah Hetzer suspects that with this ruling full legalization of marijuana will be coming soon.
The new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, had already promised to try to legalize Marijuana. If Canada, United States then Mexico legalize this it would provide so much pressure on the rest of the world to rethink their drug laws.
With a country like Mexico which is ravaged by the war on drugs legalizes it could mean a decrease in violence, convictions, and murders that occur on the streets when civilians are caught in the crossfire of warring cartel members.