Mexico’s highest court is considering legalizing marijuana for personal use. On Wednesday, the Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, the Supreme Court, will vote on a legal filing that could pave the way for every Mexican citizen to grow marijuana in their backyards. The petition, filed in 2013, argues on behalf of a pro-marijuana group that laws banning pot infringe on a citizen’s right to free development of personality. Like books, movies, and moral teachings, the plaintiffs have argued that they should be allowed to put whatever they choose into their brains, including THC.
Ahead of the ruling, marijuana advocates were excited. In Mexico, The Association for Responsible Self-Consumption and Tolerance (SMART en español ) who brought the suit are making their arguments to the media. SMART lawyer Andres Aguinaco says that the group is focusing on libertarian arguments, not the contributions of prohibition to the country’s drug war.
Drug policy reformers in the U.S. were excited as well. Just take Lisa Sanchez, Latin American Programme Manager for Transform Drug Policy Foundation, who had this to say in a recent blog post for the anti-prohibition Drug Policy Alliance.
“If the Court recognizes that the prohibition of marijuana,” Sanchez says, “consumption and cultivation for non-commercial purposes limits the right to the free development of one’s personality, it may determine that various articles in the General Health Act are unnecessarily punitive.
“This could give citizens the possibility to cultivate marijuana for personal use without having to turn to the underground market.”
Initially, the Supreme Court’s decision could be limited to Mexico’s Federal District (Mexico City). But advocates believe that the ruling would quickly propel legal pot to the wider public.
The decision will come on the heels of an August ruling by a lower court to allow medical marijuana. In that case, a judge ordered that an 8-year-old epilepsy sufferer be allowed access to medicines derived from cannabis.
Officials in Mexico City say that they are ready to put a larger medical marijuana system into practice, according to the Latin Times’ Lilian Cisneros.
Not all Mexicans were enthusiastic about making reefer safer or easier to access. Unlike medical marijuana, they argued, social weed consumption will create illness, not cure it.
“Recreational marijuana is merely a placebo to appease the ongoing ailments and social destruction in which we helplessly wallow,” the Archdiocese of Mexico City wrote in an Oct. 25th editorial.
The Archdiocese argued that if the Supreme Court were to embrace SMART’s libertarian arguments, it would be superseding a moral responsibility with “the salacious preponderance of individualism,” and a capitulation to “marijuana addicts.”
Will the “addicts” prevail over the preachers? We’ll update on this story when the Supreme Court issues its ruling, which is expected late on Wednesday.