Marijuana in Mexico: How to legalise it effectively, fairly and safely

CC Don Goofy


Marijuana in Mexico: How to legalise it effectively, fairly and safely

5 December 2018

By Jonas von Hoffmann, Raúl Bejarano Romero

Around the world, there is a steady shift towards the legalisation of marijuana. But how should governments considering such a move ensure it is done effectively, fairly and safely?

Mexico is a good test case. The Mexican Supreme Court recently ruled that the prohibition of marijuana was unconstitutional, but the new government supports legalisation, so the question no longer is if Mexico should legalise cannabis, but how.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s incoming administration has presented an initiative to regulate cannabis from seed to smoke. Legal cannabis would be accessible for recreational, medicinal and industrial uses through a commercial market, non-profit associations, so-called “cannabis clubs”, and home cultivation; all overseen by the establishment of an Instituto Mexicano de Regulación y Control del Cannabis.

But how good is this proposal, how can we tell – and is it a good model for other countries to follow? We analyse the proposal according to the “Ten Ps of marijuana legalisation”, a list of issues developed by drug policy expert Beau Kilmer that should be considered when legalising marijuana. They are: production, profit motive, promotion, prevention, policing and enforcement, penalties, potency, purity, price and permanency.