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Mexico’s Supreme Court voted 8-3 on Monday in favor of striking down laws prohibiting the use of recreational marijuana, per BBC News. The decision deemed legislation that banned the personal use, and home cultivation of marijuana as unconstitutional.
Adult residents can now apply for permits that will allow someone to carry as much as 28 grams, or grow no more than six cannabis plants for personal consumption, but criminal penalties for selling weed or possessing over five grams of marijuana will remain in effect. “Today is a historic day for liberties,” Supreme Court president Arturo Zaldívar said.
Mexico’s lower house passed a bill in March that would legalize recreational marijuana use, but the measure struggled to get through the Senate, failing to get approval by the Supreme Court’s April 30 deadline. It was initially believed that the upper house would seek another extension before the clock ran out, but no request was made, leading to speculation that lawmakers were poised to revisit the issue in a special legislative session after elections in June.
Earlier this month, Minister Norma Lucía Piña Hernández, who serves on the high court, filed a declaration of unconstitutionality in regards to the cannabis laws in Mexico, and the Supreme Court was expected to take up the matter. The non-governmental organization Mexico United Against Crime expressed doubt in the immediate impact of the decision since it “does not decriminalize the activities necessary to carry out consumption,” such as possession and transportation. Lawmakers will still need come to an agreement on marijuana regulation.