Mexico City Leaders Aim to Fight Cartel Violence By Legalizing Pot

Mexico City is one of the world’s largest cities with 8.6 million residents. For years it has been overrun by drug cartels, which have transformed the city into a center of brutality, killing more than 60,000 people in just six years. A large portion of the funding for those cartels comes from the immense, underground marijuana industry they operate. In an effort to remove money and power from the cartels, some political leaders in Mexico’s capital announced plans this month to draft proposals to legalize and regulate marijuana.

At the end of this month, members of the Mexico City city assembly will submit proposed bills to establish legal cannabis clubs, and allow individuals to possess small amounts of marijuana. As Time magazine reported on October 14., Mexico City’s new mayor Miguel Mancera voiced support for marijuana policy reform in the past, and his support for the proposed new bills is anticipated.

A Mexican federal law decriminalized the possession of about a sixth of an ounce of marijuana in 2009, but police continue to arrest people in possession of little over the specified amount, Mexican assemblyman Vidal Llerenas told Time. Llerenas is considering legislation that would make posession of one ounce of marijuana an issue not for prosecuters, but for “‘dissuasion committees,’ which would advise people to go to treatment if caught repeatedly.”

The proposa to add cannabis clubs to the city, Time reports, “aims to circumvent federal laws against selling marijuana as members would be simply paying to grow for their own use. Lawmakers are considering the idea of associations with up to 100 members, who would pay a subscription and receive about 50 g of marijuana per month. The Mexican drug-policy-reform group Cupihd, which has done extensive research into the issue, believes such clubs could take up 70% of the Mexico City marijuana market, which it estimates is now worth about $30 million a year.”

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.