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Cannabis Is A Human Right, Say Mexican Judges

The ground certainly shifted over the last couple of weeks on cannabis reform in all three North American countries.

Canadians elected a federal government that has promised to legalize recreational cannabis. And while it's true that Ohio voters rejected a legalization initiative this week, on the federal level Democratic Party candidate Bernie Sanders introduced a legalization bill in the Senate - the first time this has ever been done in the U.S.

And then earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Mexico ruled that four citizens who had challenged federal law in court had the right to grow and carry cannabis for personal use.

The four complaints - an accountant, two lawyers, and an activist - are part of a group called SMART that formed to combat violent crime stemming from Mexico's drug cartels, and to oppose pot prohibition as a violation of human rights.

SMART applied for a cannabis license but was denied

They began agitating for reform by applying for a license to use cannabis from the state's drug regulators.

When the application was denied, the group appealed the decision. It ultimately reached the Supreme Court, where they raised various issues of social justice to challenge the federal General Health Act, which prohibits the recreational use of cannabis and other drugs.

It's important to note that the decision does not legalize the recreational use of cannabis in Mexico. For that to happen, the Supreme Court would have to rule the same way five times in similar cases, or 8 of the court's 11 members would have to vote in favour of legalizing cannabis.

But the ruling does lay the groundwork for other groups to challenge the General Health Act in the same way as SMART. Many activists have already inundated the group's Facebook page to request membership, and the group promises to announce plans to expand shortly.

Canada has certainly taken the lead in legalizing at a national level, but the U.S. and now Mexico may not be far behind.

h/t New York Times, NPR, Mexico CNN


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