Ruling in Mexico Sets Into Motion Legal Marijuana – The New York Times

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The Mexican Supreme Court opened the door to legalizing marijuana on Wednesday, delivering a pointed challenge to the nation’s strict substance abuse laws and adding its weight to the growing debate in Latin America over the costs and consequences of the war against drugs.

The vote by the court’s criminal chamber declared that individuals should have the right to grow and distribute marijuana for their personal use. While the ruling does not strike down current drug laws, it lays the groundwork for a wave of legal actions that could ultimately rewrite them, proponents of legalization say…

“There is an enormous institutional and social cost to enforcing the laws against marijuana,” said Ms. Pérez Correa, whose surveys of state and federal prisons suggest that 60 percent of the inmates sentenced for drug crimes were convicted in cases involving marijuana. “How many resources are being used up to reduce these low-impact crimes?”…

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