By Mark Kleiman for About News. Last fall, a panel of the Mexican Supreme Court held that prohibition of cannabis use violates the constitutional right to the “free development of personality,” a provision that tracks Article 22 of the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights. The legal situation is complex: for now, the Supreme Court decision applies only to the four plaintiffs who brought the case, but five more decisions on the same point would establish a nationally binding precedent. Mexico had already, by legislation, decriminalized the possession of up to 5 grams of cannabis for personal use, but as a result, users caught in possession of slightly larger amounts have found themselves charged with drug dealing.
Secretario de Gobernación Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong announced a public debate on cannabis policy. (The office of Secretario de Gobernación – literally, “Secretary of Government,” usually translated “Interior Minister” – is generally regarded as second in importance only to the presidency, as it combines control of both domestic law enforcement and the intelligence service with some of the functions handled in the U.S.