No, Mexico did not legalize cocaine. However, a tribunal may decide to uphold a Mexican court’s decision seeking to allow possession, transport and use of cocaine for two people.
The court’s ruling would only take effect if confirmed by the tribunal. The case could end up in Mexico’s Supreme Court, USA Today reported. And it would only apply to the two individuals who have not been identified.
The reason behind the court’s ruling to allow cocaine for the two is also unknown.
In May, the court ordered Mexico’s health authority—COFEPRIS (the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk)—to allow the two people to possess, transport and use cocaine—but not buy or sell it.
So far COFEPRIS said it has moved to block the court order.
Drug Policy Reformers Speak Out
Mexico United Against Crime (MUCD), a drug policy reform group, said it is hoping the court’s decision will spur the government to focus more on preventing violent crime. In 2018, Mexico counted a record 33,341 homicides. In the first half of 2019, Mexico has already seen 17,608 homicides.
“We have been working for a safer, more just and peaceful Mexico for years, and with this case we insist on the need to stop criminalizing users of drugs other than marijuana and design better public policies that explore all available options, including the regulation,” said Lisa Sánchez, director of MUCD.
The group helped influence the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2018 that an absolute ban on the recreational use of marijuana was unconstitutional.
Mexico has been grappling with unprecedented violence for years now. Drug policy experts point to the fallout of former President Felipe Calderon’s war on drug cartels that he waged over his six-year term (2006-2012). In that time period, about 120,000 homicides were logged in Mexico.
Now, under President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the country is considering drug decriminalization. The policy was proposed under the administration’s National Development Plan released this year.
The text signals a desire to move away from long-held prohibitionist policies, and toward a new strategy that won’t repeat past mistakes.
“In the matter of narcotic drugs, the prohibitionist strategy is already unsustainable, not only because of the violence generated by its poor results in terms of public health,” according to the translated text provided by Marijuana Moment.
“Worse still, the prohibitionist model inevitably criminalizes consumers and reduces their odds of social reintegration and rehabilitation.”
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