Soon individuals can request the right to legally consume cannabis in Mexico

Recent headlines suggest Mexico is just days from legalizing Marijuana, but that is not the case.

Back in October 31st, Mexico’s Supreme Court handed down two decisions deeming the country’s recreational marijuana prohibition laws to be unconstitutional. The Supreme Court “found that adults have a fundamental right to personal development which lets them decide their recreational activities without interference from the state.”

As recently explain by Vallarta Tribune contributor Orlando Gotay, “What happened is the Mexico Supreme Court granted an “amparo” (now totaling five) in a matter involving Marijuana. When there are five rulings on point on the same matter, the ruling becomes “jurisprudence” and becomes binding on all lower courts throughout the country.

Allegedly, there will be a publication in the Journal of the Court to that end on February 22, 2019.

This does not make cannabis use legal. It means that all lower courts must issue amparos, based on the same issues presented, and covered within the “jurisprudencia” that will be (allegedly) published on the 22nd.

What is an Amparo?
An amparo is a special legal device invented in Mexico, it is somewhat akin to an injunction; solely to enforce people’s rights under the constitution or international treaties in force, with respect to the amparo seeker or other parties.

Public laws against Marijuana are still on the books and are enforceable. If they are enforced against you, you could bring your own amparo based on the jurisprudence, which I suppose could be issued in your favor. Then you would be allowed out of jail.

Marijuana is not “legal” in Mexico. The day the laws are amended or repealed, then that day we could say such a thing.”

An amparo will grant the respective protections to any citizen that obtains permission to freely plant, harvest, transport and smoke, without commercial purposes and without affecting third parties.

This means that if you wish to grow and consume marijuana you must start your own process before COFEPRIS, and then seek protection before a judge.  Case law does not bind any other authority than those of the judiciary, so neither the police, nor COFEPRIS, nor the Ministry of Health are obliged to recognize this right until the amparo is delivered.

Until you are protected with an amparo, you still run the risk of being arrested for possession of cannabis.


Madeline Milne on EmailMadeline Milne on Instagram
Living in Mexico full time since 2011, Madeline is a graphic designer, writer, iPhone photographer and road tripper.