Is Weed Legal in Mexico? A Complete Guide

Shefali Sinha
Weed Legal in Mexico - theislandnow

Did you know that weed, also known as marijuana, is derived from a fascinating subspecies of the cannabis plant? When we discuss marijuana, we often highlight its high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for its psychoactive effects. 

However, it’s important to note that using marijuana requires you to be cautious and not dependent. As a result, many states have yet to legalize marijuana due to these concerns.

One of the states which have made headlines after legalizing it is Mexico. 

Mexico has had a fair share of ups and downs with this decision, but its government has taken significant strides to combat this issue. After many years of effort, the Mexican Congress and Senate successfully passed a bill to legalize marijuana, paving the way for recreational use. 

This article will delve into the specifics of Mexico’s historic marijuana legalization bill and much more. Let’s dive in and uncover all the intriguing details together!

Weed Legal in Mexico

Current Weed Legalization Status In Mexico

Weed is legal in Mexico, including recreational marijuana and medical cannabis. However, it is a little complicated. It’s not completely legal, but we cannot say that cannabis is illegal in Mexico. Another exciting fact is that you can also buy weed online in Mexico.


As we look back in time, specifically on August 21, 2009, individuals were granted some leniency when it came to possessing small quantities of cannabis, avoiding potential legal consequences. Subsequently, in 2015, further steps were taken towards decriminalization. However, the tides shifted in 2021 when the Supreme Court made a ruling against the recreational use of cannabis.

Is Medical Cannabis Legal in Mexico?

Medical cannabis is legal in Mexico. However, no specific legal framework can determine whether the person is carrying marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. A legal structure has not been put into place that can guide the legal sale of cannabis.

Recreational Marijuana in Mexican History

In the early 16th century, the Spanish introduced marijuana in Mexico through hemp. They usually grew hemp to make ropes and textiles. With time, subsidies from the Spanish vanished after the Mexican War of Independence. The production of marijuana fell to its lowest point.

Moreover, some academic research studies have shown that Mexican people have used marijuana for ritual and divination purposes for a long time. They used weed for recreational purposes along with pain cures. Furthermore, marijuana was freely used by people till 1898.

In 1882, a military hospital banned the use of recreational marijuana. This was to avoid problems associated with its use. It included issues such as violence, crimes, and disorders.

In 1920, Mexican law prohibited the sale, purchase, production, and use of recreational marijuana. Moreover, Mexico completely banned the export of weed in 1927.

The US government launched a controversial program during the 1970s to eradicate the production of weed and poppy fields. They sprayed paraquat on cannabis fields in Mexico with the help of helicopters and other tools. Paraquat is a herbicide that contaminates marijuana and other herbs.

Mexican Drug Laws For Tourists

In August 2009, Mexico-marijuana lawmakers established a law that allowed the possession of small amounts of cannabis. The government decriminalized marijuana to reduce illegal drug activity and allowed five grams of cannabis for personal consumption.

The authorities assured law enforcement of major drug cartels instead of minor drug possession.

Moreover, the new law advised people caught possessing five grams of cannabis to seek a drug rehabilitation center instead of sending them to prison.

Supreme Court Ruled Weed Legal in 2021

Mexico has a constitution of human rights to develop people’s personalities freely. In 2015, the court voted 4-1 that prohibiting the production of cannabis was unconstitutional as it is against human rights. Therefore, the supreme court allowed four individuals from the Mexican Society for Responsible and Tolerant Personal Use (SMART) to produce and consume cannabis.

In 2017, president Enrique Peña Nieto signed a law to allow medical cannabis with less than one percent THC.

Moreover, the supreme court ruled to allow recreational cannabis as the prohibition is against the human rights constitution. It asked the lawmakers to legalize cannabis within the next 90 days formally. Later, they increased the deadline to December 2020.

Cannabis is legal in Mexico according to the June 2021 supreme court ruling. The supreme court legalized adult-use cannabis by 8-3 votes, as the prohibition of personal use of cannabis was unconstitutional.

In March 2021, the lower house of the Mexican Congress legalized the recreational use of cannabis in a 316-to-219 vote. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador supported the marijuana legalization bill. It has been expected that legislation will be passed through the Senate before reaching the president.

The Supreme Court legalized adult-use cannabis under Mexico’s marijuana laws. However, it did not change the federal and state laws. So, no legal framework provides regulations for the legal sale of personal consumption cannabis.

Moreover, only the supreme court cannot diminish the existing laws on the recreational use of marijuana. The supreme court has allowed personal possession, but Congress has not made rules about the personal use of cannabis in Mexico.

Is Marijuana Legal In Mexico?

The 2021 legislation has allowed the private use and possession of marijuana. Moreover, possession of up to 28 grams of weed is legal as long as the holder is 18 or over.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador protected the human rights of minimum consumers and enforced laws against drug cartels. However, medical cannabis is legal to use in public spaces.

Is Marijuana Legal In Mexico

Decriminalized Drugs In Mexico City

The 2021 legislation allowed a specific amount of some drugs, including 2 grams of opium, 500 mg of cocaine, 0.015 mg of LSD, 50 mg of heroin, 40 mg (or a 200 mg capsule) of MDMA or speed, and 5 grams of cannabis. This specific amount is legal for medical and recreational use. However, anything above this limit is illegal and can land a person in jail.

Moreover, police can fine offenders carrying amounts above the legal limit.

The lawmakers have allowed small amounts of drugs to act in favor of human rights as this country’s prohibition for recreational use was unconstitutional.

Effects Of Marijuana Legislation

The Senate approved the legal use of marijuana or weed in 2021, allowing the possession of 5 grams of cannabis. Possession of above 5 grams of cannabis can lead to jail and fines of up to $20,000.

However, the 2021 legislation announced a licensing system for producing, selling, and purchasing marijuana, increasing economic opportunities. Courts have defended the constitutionality of recreational pot. This may lead to the complete legalization of the drug.

The court instructed the lawmakers to create a legal framework for the personal use and consumption of marijuana. When the supreme court in Mexico permitted the legalization of weed, the hoped-for outcomes were:

  • Reduce the law enforcement abuses
  • Increase the civil liberties
  • Enhancement of economic revenues for the government
  • Decrease in violent criminality and jail population
  • Generation of legal income
  • Improving the social conditions of poor and marginalized populations

Many cannabis companies in Canada impact the Mexican cannabis market, making it difficult for farmers to produce legal marijuana at a lower cost. Therefore, they prefer the illegal cultivation of weed to grow profits by exporting marijuana to Canada.

Health Risks Of Marijuana Legalization In Mexico

Mexican Congress has permitted the possession and use of 5 grams of cannabis. However, lawmakers have not made the rules clear yet, which gives the people a margin of usage. Legalization and adult use allow people to access cannabis for medical and recreational uses. Like cocaine, heroin, and other drugs, weed also has side effects.

Medical marijuana comes in many forms. Each can affect the user’s health to some degree. Still, there are multiple addiction treatment units and rehabilitation centers in Mexico and other countries for marijuana-addicted patients.

It has been observed that many people who use marijuana become dependent and addicted. This can eventually lead to a lower quality of life. The major health risks of marijuana are damaging cognitive memory in the short term and increasing the risks of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Moreover, the other health effects of marijuana are under study. For example, it is unclear whether marijuana alone, or mixing it with tobacco causes the majority of negative health outcomes.

How Can I Purchase Marijuana In Mexico?

Medical marijuana is available in different dispensaries and medical stores. You can access it with a doctor’s prescription. However, the legal amount of recreational marijuana is available through dealers in Mexico. 

The tourist-friendly towns and cities such as Cristóbal de la Casas, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Oaxaca de Juárez, and Riviera Maya have street dealers.

Moreover, different street vendors and sellers of various items provide marijuana at your location whenever you want. Locally produced cannabis is cheap and easily accessible. 

However, the premium products are expensive, and only a few dealers sell these products.

Is Home Cultivation Of Weed Legal?

If you are above 18 and want to grow cannabis at home, you can follow the home cultivation rules of cannabis. The Senate allows the cultivation of up to six plants at home.

Adding to this, these six plants include three mature and three immature plants. Therefore, you can enjoy the marijuana moment at your home in Mexico.

Health Benefits Of Medical Marijuana

Cannabis oils are beneficial in curing different health situations. Recently, newspaper headlines have shown that cannabis oil controlled epileptic seizures in two boys of six and twelve years of age.

However, cannabis oils do not have any medical license, but they are not recreational drugs either. Furthermore, cannabis is famous for different treatments, including multiple sclerosis, nausea, vomiting, and chronic pain.

Adding to the fact above, cannabis is known for major treatments in chemotherapy and anxiety. It is helpful to cure sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, poor appetite, Parkinson’s symptoms, and fibromyalgia.

The country’s lawmakers are looking into the benefits of marijuana. Therefore, Congress is working on legalization.

FAQs Related To legality Of Weed In Mexico

Many countries, including Canada, Georgia, Malta, Thailand, South Africa, and Uruguay, have legalized the recreational usage of marijuana. 

Moreover, 19 states, 2 territories, and the District of Columbia have passed legalization bills in the United States. 

Another amazing fact is that the Australian Capital Territory in Australia has also allowed the consumption of marijuana.

Yes, weed consumption for recreational and medical uses is allowed in Mexico. You can carry 5 grams of weed legally. However, any amount above this can lead to jail time and fines.

Despite the legalization of weed under the Mexico marijuana laws, the federal government has not allowed providing registered trademarks to weed companies. The registered trademarks in connection with weed are unlawful under federal law.

Concluding On Cannabis In Mexico

Concluding the informational discussion, Mexico has made significant strides in the legalization of weed, thanks to the diligent efforts of its government. 

With a rich history of cannabis use dating back to the late 19th century when it held sacred and ceremonial significance, it later gained popularity for recreational purposes. 

However, the early 20th century saw a shift in perception due to concerns about violence and crime associated with its use, leading to a complete ban in 1930. 

Fast forward to the 21st century, and medical marijuana legalization emerged, recognizing its potential health benefits. Recent Supreme Court rulings have also played a role, making possession of up to 5 grams of marijuana legal. It’s essential to note that exceeding this limit can result in legal repercussions, including imprisonment or substantial fines.

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