California made history in 1996 when it passed Prop 215 (The Compassionate Use Act) and became the first state to allow patients with a doctor's recommendation to use medical cannabis. In the twenty years since, residents of the state have created what has grown into the largest medical marijuana economy in the country, possibly the world.
Our country has suffered the harmful effects of drug-linked organized crime. Thankfully, a new global consensus is gradually gathering steam in favor of a reform to the international drug regime. Instead of criminalizing consumers, it will offer alternatives and opportunities.
California is set to vote on Prop 64 in the November 2016 election and Mexico is paying close attention. The ballot initiative in question would legalize recreational marijuana use by adults 21 years of age and older.
Democratic lawmakers from California met with President Enrique Pena Nieto on Wednesday during a visit to Mexico to discuss issues regarding trade and the Calfornia-Mexico border. During the course of the meeding, Pena Nieto asked about Prop 64. Though there was no mention of the initiative on the presidency's official report. The Mexican president has been seen as a conservative with his drug policy in the past, but has since changed his stance due to Latin Americans' growing disdain for the war on drugs.
During the 2016 year Pena Nieto has been delving into the realm of marijuana legalization, having proposed relaxing the country's marijuana laws and throwing his support behind a bill that would legalize up to an ounce of cannabis for personal use. That bill currently remains stalled in Congress.
Pena Nieto believes that drug policies adopted by the United States and Mexico should have some level of consistency between them. He says that if his plan were to be approved, it would allow for many Mexicans currently serving jail time for marijuana offenses, to be set free.
According to President Pena Nieto; “Our country has suffered the harmful effects of drug-linked organized crime. Thankfully, a new global consensus is gradually gathering steam in favor of a reform to the international drug regime. Instead of criminalizing consumers, it will offer alternatives and opportunities.”
With retail cannabis tax revenue estimates for California at around $1 billion per year, Mexico can't be far behind with more legalization efforts of their own.