In a first-of-its-kind ruling, a judge in Mexico City has granted two people the right to use, possess, and transport cocaine for personal recreational use.
The court ordered the national health regulator, COFEPRIS, to authorize the unnamed claimants to use the drug, but the organization has moved to block the court order, originally delivered in May, as it would constitute legal overreach on the regulator’s part.
Furthermore, the ruling must be reviewed and upheld by a higher court.
“This case represents another step in the fight to construct alternative drug policies that allow [Mexico] to redirect its security efforts and better address public health,” Mexico United Against Crime said in a statement.
The Mexican Supreme Court has authorized the use of recreational marijuana in certain cases as the country gradually shifts away from prohibitionist drug policies, particularly under new left-leaning president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. His party has introduced a bill to legalize recreational cannabis use.
Mexico has been plagued with violence since the government deployed the army to tackle drug cartels in 2016. So far, some 250,000 people have reportedly been murdered as a result, including 33,341 drug war-related deaths in 2018, a 15 percent rise from the previous year.
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