Mexico Legalizes Marijuana ... for 4 People

Landmark ruling opens the door for nationwide change
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2015 5:43 AM CST
Mexico Legalizes Marijuana ... for 4 People
A supporter of the legalization of marijuana wears a lucha libre wrestling mask decorated with a marijuana leaf as he celebrates outside the Supreme Court in Mexico City on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)

A landmark Supreme Court ruling in Mexico has legalized recreational marijuana for four people, a decision that could open the door to legal pot for another 122 million Mexicans. The court's 4-1 decision found that banning marijuana violated the constitutional right "to the free development of personality" of the four plaintiffs from a group called the Mexican Society for Responsible and Tolerant Consumption, the Guardian reports. The four, including prominent businessman Armando Santacruz, will now be allowed to grow marijuana and smoke it, reports the BBC. For pot to become legal for all Mexicans, the court will have to rule the same way in five similar cases, the Guardian notes.

Pot smoking isn't as widespread in Mexico as it is in the US, and the government is firmly opposed to legalization, but advocates say it makes little sense for Mexicans to be locked up or killed in cartel violence over a substance that's gradually being legalized north of the border, reports the New York Times. "We are killing ourselves to stop the production of something that is heading to the US, where it’s legal," Santacruz tells the Times, adding that bad regulation "is better than whatever regulation El Chapo and the narcos can provide." (On Tuesday, Ohio voters rejected a legalization measure that would have established a "marijuana monopoly.")

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