After the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation issued a historic ruling, in which it declared as unconstitutional the prohibition of the recreational use of marijuana, now the Cofepris will be in charge of granting individual permits for the self-consumption of this substance. However, there is still a lot of work ahead, the court's decision means that people who apply for a permit will be able to consume marijuana legally, although under certain restrictions.
With eight votes in favor, the Court removed "the legal obstacle for the Ministry of Health to authorize activities related to the self-consumption of cannabis and THC", as well as "sowing, cultivating, harvesting, preparing, possessing and transporting, for recreational purposes, thus respecting the right to the free development of personality".
According to a statement issued by the Supreme Court, "the Ministry of Health must issue these authorizations only to adults"; in other words, to obtain an individual permit for cannabis self-consumption, you must be of legal age. "From now on, and as long as the Congress of the Union does not legislate on the matter, the Ministry of Health must issue these authorizations only to adults and for the specified purposes," said Minister Norma Lucía Piña during the debate. However, you must take into account that there are certain rules you must follow:
1. The authorization issued by Cofepris may not include other substances.
2. The permit is not for importation, commercialization, supply, or any other act of alienation and/or distribution.
3. The recreational use of marijuana must not affect third parties, therefore it must not be consumed in front of minors, nor public places.
4. It is not allowed to drive vehicles or operate dangerous machines under the effects of this substance, or perform any other activity that may endanger or harm other people.
What marijuana users can and can't do
The Court's decision eliminates the prohibition of its adult use but does not include a new legal framework, so it does not imply its decriminalization or legalization. It only removed the legal obstacle for the Ministry of Health to authorize activities related exclusively to self-consumption: planting, cultivating, harvesting, preparing, possessing, and transporting.
In other words, if you want to consume the plant benefiting from this measure, you will need a permit issued by the Cofepris and you will only be able to carry out such activities for your consumption, since the modification did not affect the Federal Criminal Code, where, for example, trade penalties are still included. The Court specified that Cofepris must establish the guidelines and modalities for the acquisition of the seed because the importation, trade, supply, sale, or distribution of these substances is not allowed.
It also specified that the consumption of the plant in no case can be done affecting third parties, so it should not be exercised in front of minors or in public places where there are people who have not given their authorization. The permits issued by Cofepris must specify that it is not allowed to drive vehicles or operate dangerous machines under the influence of these substances, nor to carry out, in general, any other activity under the influence of these substances that may endanger or harm third parties.
In 2019, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation ordered Congress to change the General Health Law before April 30, 2021, as it ruled that the prohibition of personal consumption of cannabis is unconstitutional. In March, the Chamber of Deputies approved a bill regulating the production, distribution, and possession of cannabis for personal use. This was sent to the Senate for discussion, and it had until April 30 -the end of the ordinary period of sessions- to approve it. But it did not do so.