Mexico court ruling could eventually lead to legal marijuana

November 5, 2015, 4:47am

The ruling only applies to growing marijuana for recreational use for a certain group- Photo: Reuters

By BBC News

A narrow ruling by Mexico's Supreme Court could eventually clear a path to make recreational use of marijuana legal.

Four people in the Mexican Society for Responsible and Tolerant Personal Use will now be permitted to grow and smoke their own marijuana. Marijuana still cannot be sold in Mexico but some say the court's ruling could lead to full legalisation.

Mexico has long struggled with violent conflict from drug cartels. The advocacy group first brought the case forward in 2013, seeking permission to grow plants for recreational use.

The court voted 4-1 that prohibiting people from growing the drug for consumption was unconstitutional.

It could set a legal precedent for future rulings concerning the use and sales of marijuana. People celebrated the ruling by smoking joints outside of the Supreme Court building.

"If ... this supreme court is taking such an important step toward legalization of drugs, or at least some of them, I suggest that we are equally careful and responsible in crafting a ruling of the same magnitude," said Judge Jose Ramon Cossio, who voted in favour of the measure.

There are tens of thousands of drug-related killings in the country every year. The country has been pressured to loosen its drug laws after the US made the drug legal in certain states. In 2009, Mexico made it legal to carry up to 5 grams (.18oz) of marijuana.