Mexico’s Supreme Court ordered the government Monday to issue permits for the personal use of marijuana and for the growing of limited amounts of pot plants, after the country’s Congress took too long to approve a limited legalization law.
In 2019, the court ruled that prohibiting marijuana was unconstitutional, and gave lawmakers until this past April 30 to pass a law. In March, the lower house approved a marijuana legalization bill, but it bogged down in the Senate.
Under Monday’s court ruling, people who want to smoke marijuana or grow a few pot plants for their own use can ask for a government permit until some legislation is enacted. They would have to be adults, abstain from using marijuana around children and refrain from driving or engaging in other risky activities while under the influence.
Similar permits have existed since 2015, but are granted only to people who file for court injunctions. Under Monday’s ruling, the Health Department would be required to accept applications for permits from the general public.
Medicinal marijuana use has been legal in Mexico since 2017 and is allowed in a number of other Latin American countries. But only Uruguay allows recreational use of pot in the region.