MEXICO CITY – After years of brutality and violence from drug cartels largely funded by marijuana, political leaders in one of the world’s largest cities may take power and profits away from those cartels by legalizing and regulating marijuana. Members of the Mexico City city assembly plan to submit bills establishing clubs that would sell marijuana and allow the possession of small amounts of the plant at the end of this month. The new mayor, Miguel Mancera, has stated his support for marijuana policy reform in the past and is widely expected to support the new bills.
“More than 70,000 people have been killed in the drug war in Mexico in the past seven years,” said retired police major Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of law enforcement officials opposed to the war on drugs. “Were Mexico City to legalize and regulate marijuana, taking it out of the hands of violent cartels and into those of legitimate businesses, it would be a tremendous boon to public safety in the city and a sign to the rest of the world that legalizing marijuana is a smart, workable solution to the evils of the drug war.”
If the proposals are successful, the city will join the ranks of Colorado and Washington state, which both voted to legalize marijuana last November, and Uruguay, whose lower house has already approved a legalization bill expected to pass the senate this month.
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition is a nonprofit organization of police, prosecutors, judges and other law enforcement professionals who, after fighting in the war on drugs, now advocate for its end.