[JURIST] The Mexico Supreme Court [official website, in Spanish] ruled on Wednesday that four members of the nonprofit Sociedad Mexicana de Autoconsumo Responsable y Tolerante (SMART) [Facebook page, in Spanish] will be allowed to grow and smoke marijuana. This decision marks a significant step [BBC report] in the potential path for full legalization of marijuana in Mexico. SMART is a group that wants to weaken the power of drug cartels, as Mexico is one of the leading countries with drug-related violence. The court held that it is unconstitutional to prohibit the growth of marijuana for personal use, but this ruling is narrow and only applies [NPR report] to the four SMART members who were party to the case.
Although marijuana remains illegal under federal law in the US, the legalization of medical marijuana [JURIST backgrounder] and decriminalization of marijuana possession has gained support in recent years. In October the Michigan House of Representatives approved medical marijuana legislation [JURIST report] that provides licensing requirements for businesses to grow, sell and pay taxes on medical marijuana. In June the Delaware governor signed a bill into law that decriminalizes the use and possession [JURIST report] of small amounts of marijuana. Also in June the Louisiana House of Representatives approved a medical marijuana [JURIST report] bill that gives authority to three state boards to regulate the distribution system of therapeutic marijuana. The same month the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a law restricting the use of medical marijuana was unconstitutional [JURIST report]. Also, in March the Georgia General Assembly approved a bill [JURIST report] legalizing marijuana for limited medical purposes. Some places have also decriminalized marijuana for recreational use in addition to medical purposes, including Washington, DC [JURIST report].