/ Modified may 2, 2017 11:49 a.m.

Mexico Is One Step Away From Legalizing Medical Marijuana

Such a step would be a landmark policy for the country battered by the drug trade.

Mexico Mexican soldiers marijuana hero Mexican soldiers work in the mountains of Sinaloa burning this marijuana field, part of an eradication program supported by the United States. (PHOTO: Lorne Matalon, Fronteras Desk)

MEXICO CITY — Mexico has been the victim of drug-related violence and corruption for years, but a new bill passed last Friday may change all that.

While debates around marijuana legalization continue state by state in the U.S., Mexico is just one step away from OK’ing medical marijuana for the whole country.

The Mexican Congress passed a bill to legalize the scientific and medical use of marijuana. And if President Enrique Peña Nieto signs it, it will become a federal law.

Peña Nieto has said in the past that the war on drugs has failed around the world, but no one knows when — or how — he is going to address this new bill.

The debate on legalizing marijuana in Mexico has been as complex as it is in the United States. Former President Vicente Fox has become a strong voice in favor of it, while his successor, Felipe Calderón, still opposes it.

The partial legalization of marijuana would be a landmark in Mexican drug policy.

Fronteras Desk
This story is from the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration of Southwestern public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Fronteras Desk.
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