How much marijuana is legal to carry in Mexico?

Find out how much pot you may carry without breaking the law or being suspected of transporting weed for sale if you want to use it yourself. This is what the Mexican law resolved regarding marijuana for recreational use.

How much marijuana is legal to carry in Mexico?
Is marijuana legal in Mexico? Photo: Flickr

The question arises: what is the amount of marijuana that is legal to carry for personal consumption, so that it is not considered an illicit act or that the marijuana is carried for sale and/or drug trafficking purposes?

In this regard, on May 11, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) ruled that it is unconstitutional to criminalize the possession of more than 5 grams of cannabis unless it can be proven that it is not for personal use.

Three of the five ministers of the First Chamber of the Court decided to invalidate Article 478 of the General Health Law (LGS), which allowed the possession of fewer than 5 grams of marijuana for personal consumption; said law punishes with up to three years in prison anyone who exceeds that amount.

The project presented by Minister Juan Luis González Alcántara before the Plenary in May considered that allowing the Public Ministry to exercise criminal action against those who possess more than 5 grams of cannabis for personal consumption "is punishing moral qualities, personality or personal behavior; which has no Constitutional support".

The story behind this criterion has its origins four years ago, in 2018, when a person promoted an injunction after being linked to a process for his alleged intention to profit from marijuana, as he was carrying 30 grams. Being affected, the person filed an indirect appeal action in which he claimed to be a consumer of said narcotic.

Can you be searched if there is suspicion of carrying marijuana?

The Supreme Court explained in 2018 that the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) considered that the previous National Code of Criminal Procedures "transgresses the rights to personal freedom and transit, legal security, privacy and private life and integrity allowing the authorization of the police to inspect persons and vehicles in the investigation of crimes, without the requirement that they have a written order issued by a competent authority that founds and motivates their actions".

In addition, Article 16 of the Mexican Constitution states that "no one may be disturbed in his person, family, domicile, papers or possessions, except by a written order from the competent authority, which establishes and justifies the legal cause of the procedure", therefore, the authorities cannot search in the absence of a warrant. However, the authorities may search in case there is flagrancy at the time of committing a crime, such as marijuana consumption in public places.

Although a year has passed since the Senate approved the bill that makes legal the consumption of marijuana for recreational purposes in Mexico, little is known about the little or no progress made on this issue in the chamber, since the resolution that stops criminalizing self-cultivation and consumption of cannabis in the national territory has not yet been published.

The law initiative is still in progress and for now and in 2022 the law is not approved, so it is still illegal to smoke marijuana in Mexico, so if you are caught by the authorities in the middle of cannabis consumption you could be sent to the corresponding authorities' office.