[JURIST] The Mexican Chamber of Deputies [official website, in Spanish] approved [materials, in Spanish] a bill on Friday allowing the use, production and distribution of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes. The bill was approved [AFP report] by the other chamber of the legislature in December and will now be sent to President Enrique Pena Nieto for his signature. The change in policy came after a national debate and organized forums on narcotics, which has been a hot topic for years, because of the widespread organized crime connected to narcotics in Mexico. The bill stopped short of allowing recreational marijuana [Reuters report].
Countries and US states are starting to slowly remove [JURIST commentary] long standing prohibitionary policies against marijuana possession that still exist undisturbed at the federal level. In April, the Canadian government announced a plan [JURIST report] to legalize recreational use of marijuana by July 2018. In February the lower house of the Dutch parliament approved a bill [JURIST report] that would permit the cultivation of cannabis. In December 2015 Colombia's President signed a bill legalizing [JURIST report] medical marijuana.