Mexico Supreme Court takes step toward recreational pot use
MEXICO CITY (AP):
Mexico's Supreme Court has ruled that growing, possessing and smoking marijuana for recreation is legal under the right to freedom.
The measure was approved on Wednesday in a 4-1 vote on the five-justice panel, backing the argument that smoking marijuana is covered under the right of "free development of personality".
At this point, the ruling covers only the plaintiffs in a single case, a group of four people wanting to form a pot club.
The ruling did not approve the sale or commercial production of marijuana nor does it imply a general legalisation. But if the court rules the same way on five similar petitions, it would then establish the precedent to change the law and allow general recreational use.
A similar process led to the court's recent ruling that Mexican laws prohibiting same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.
"No one has said at all that marijuana is harmless. It is a drug and, as such, it causes damage," said Justice Arturo Zaldivar, who wrote the majority opinion. "What is being resolved here is that total prohibition is a disproportionate measure."
At the same time, the ruling will help legalisation measures being written in Congress, said Moy Schwartzman, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs.