11/7/2018 Reuters Voice of America   Share to Facebook  Share on Google+  

Mexico Moves Toward Major Rollback of Marijuana Prohibition

Mexico Moves Toward Major Rollback of Marijuana ProhibitionMexico's next interior minister plans to submit a bill to create a medical marijuana industry and allow recreational use, the Congress website showed on Tuesday, in what would be a big step by the incoming government to shake up the country's drug war. Senator Olga Sanchez, Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's choice for interior minister, told Reuters the bill would be presented this week in Congress. If the bill passes, Mexico would join Canada, Uruguay and a host of U.S. states that permit recreational use of the drug and allow its commercialization. It would be one of the most populous countries to roll back prohibition. Mexico, which banned marijuana in the early 20th century, is still a major supplier of illicit weed to the United States. It has been racked by a decade of conflict between cartels over supply routes for heroin, cocaine and synthetic drugs to its northern neighbor. Negotiated peace, amnesty Lopez Obrador, a veteran leftist who takes office Dec. 1, has promised major changes to Mexico's approach to the war on drugs, suggesting a negotiated peace and amnesty for some of the very people currently targeted by security forces. In the 26-page bill posted on the Congress website, Sanchez wrote that Mexico's cannabis prohibition has contributed to crime and violence, adding that in the 12 years since Mexico launched a war on cartels, 235,000 people have been killed. "The policy of prohibition arises from the false assumption that the problem of drugs should be tackled from

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