Sen. Julio Ramón Menchaca Salazar of the ruling Morena party believes marijuana legalization could generate tax revenue to offset economic losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the senator, legalizing cannabis could fill treasury coffers at a time when the economy is taking a massive hit under social distancing and stay-at-home orders.
“We have this opportunity and we are going to take advantage of it,” Menchaca, who leads the Senate Justice Committee, told El Sol de Mexico this past weekend. “We will assume our responsibility, both in the Senate and in the Chamber of Deputies.”
He also tweeted, “Aseguró @Julio_Menchaca que la Legislatura actual tiene la oportunidad de aprobar la regulación del #cannabis y lograr la pacificación del país, pues la producción ilegal de esta planta ha constituido mafias con un enorme poder económico que le han causado a #México inseguridad.”
“We knew that during the weeks that they are not physically meeting, it was unlikely that the issue would be discussed because it was something that they really wanted to talk about in person,” Zara Snapp, a legalization activist with the Instituto RIA and the coalition #RegulacionPorLaPaz, told Marijuana Moment.
“It would be great news if they moved forward with this under these conditions to ensure that it really does get passed in the timeframe that’s now been established by the Supreme Court.”
The proposal would allow adults 18 and older to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use. Individuals could grow up to 20 registered plants as long as the total yield doesn’t exceed 480 grams per year. Medical patients could apply to cultivate more than 20 plants.
The bill proposes a 12 percent tax on cannabis sales, with some revenue going toward a substance misuse treatment fund.