Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies voted Thursday to decriminalize marijuana. The measure was approved by a vote of 315 to 128, with 23 members abstaining.
The law will allow any adult to smoke marijuana with certain restrictions. These restrictions include a cap on possession that would make it illegal to possess more than 28 grams of marijuana. The Chamber of Deputies is still debating the legal consequence for persons who possess more than 28 grams with the current proposal suggesting a $500 fine for persons found with between 29 and 200 grams.
According to the Chamber of Deputies’ proposal, the move will be regulated by the Health Department’s National Commission Against Addiction, which has no prior regulatory experience. It will be in charge of who is allowed to grow marijuana, ensuring that there are tamper-proof seals on the product and signs warning that it should only be sold in Mexico. It will also be in charge of running a campaign to warn against usage by persons under 25 years of age.
Because the Chamber of Deputies made changes to the law it now goes before the Senate where it must be approved again before becoming law. If the law were to pass, Mexico would become the third country in the world, after Canada and Uruguay, to legalize marijuana nationwide.