This article by Louis O'Neill was originally published on The Green Fund, and appears here with permission.
Yesterday we covered the U.S. states that could legalize cannabis this year. Now, let's talk about the rest of the world.
While many eyes are on the United States right now, particularly when it comes to the tumultuous handover of the presidency to Joe Biden, the cannabis industry is much broader than just the U.S., and in 2021, we may see several more countries legalize the plant for medical or recreational use.
This is partly due to the change in scheduling from the U.N., removing cannabis from its Schedule IV category, in addition to European courts deeming that CBD isn't a narcotic. These two rulings will certainly bode well for countries looking at regulatory bodies when deciding their stance on cannabis.
Recreational cannabis is currently legal in Canada, South Africa, and Uruguay, 15 states in the United States and the Australian Capital Territory in Australia. And, based on 2020, there are several countries that look positioned to join these countries in legalizing recreational-use marijuana.
Mexico is the first country that looks ready to legalize cannabis, after years of deliberation and effort.
In fact, Mexico was due to decide whether the country would legalize cannabis back in late October of 2019 after it was deemed unconstitutional to ban cannabis use and possession. The Supreme Court actually issued five rulings decrying the unconstitutional nature of cannabis prohibition, which argued that cannabis's prohibition was against “the right to the free development of the personality,“ as the country's constitution states.
However, the October legislation was postponed until April 2020, so that the country could iron out the proposed legislation, which was again pushed back to December 2020 due to COVID-19.
Finally, in December, 4/5ths of the Mexican Senate passed a bill to legalize recreational cannabis and a cannabis market, allowing adults to carry 28 grams of cannabis and grow up to four plants.
The bill must now go through the lower house in order to become law, though it looks very likely that Mexico may pass the bill ...