Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a decree this week legalizing medical marijuana. The measure also classified the psychoactive ingredient in the drug as “therapeutic.”
The new policy isn't exactly opening the door for medical marijuana dispensaries on every corner.
Instead it calls on the Ministry of Health to draft and implement regulations and public policies regulating “the medicinal use of pharmacological derivatives of cannabis sativa, indica and Americana or marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol.” It also tasks the ministry with developing a research program to study the drug's impact before creating broader policies.
The measure had broad support from Mexico's Senate and Lower House of Congress, where it passed 347-7 in April.
Marijuana legalization advocates are celebrating the decision and calling on the government to do more. Sen. Miguel Barbosa said the legislation was “well below the expectations of society.” Sen. Armando Rios Peter called it a “tiny” step away from a failed drug policy.
Recreational marijuana is still broadly prohibited in Mexico.
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