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Sinaloa Cartel Would possibly Run Mexico’s New Hashish Business

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As Mexico prepares to open its legal recreational cannabis industry, the question of who will really run it becomes relevant in a country dominated by drug cartels. New reports indicate the Sinaloa cartel is looking to take over Mexico’s new cannabis industry.

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Just getting the laws through has proved to be quite a challenge for the Mexican government. Whether this is because of disputes between parties over things like taxation and local farmer protections, or over concerns about how this industry will fit into a cartel dominated country, is hard to say. As the next deadline for legislation looms ahead, reports indicate the Sinaloa cartel has made it clear that when Mexico’s new cannabis industry opens, it plans to take control.

How did Mexico become legal?

Mexico did not establish its new cannabis legality like the other legalized countries. Rather than it pass by way of a bill that makes its way through government, Mexico’s cannabis legalization came through its court system. Due to jurisprudencia in Mexico, if five supreme court rulings are made on a specific topic, that are all the same, and consecutive, the ruling becomes binding for all lower courts. If a court can only rule a certain way, it becomes a legally binding measure. In this case, since the current legislation of the country does not match these supreme court rulings, the legislative arm stands in contradiction to the judiciary arm, requiring an update in laws.

Until this happens, Mexico is left in a strange position. Written laws tell police officers they can bust a person with over five grams of marijuana, but judicially, so long as the cannabis was for personal use, and doesn’t go over about an ounce, the courts cannot find the person guilty of a crime. In fact, they likely won’t even hear the case if it’s a clear-cut personal possession or personal use case. Does this go for all cannabis crimes in Mexico? Certainly not. The old rules still apply both legislatively and judicially. If you’re caught selling marijuana, growing it commercially, or trafficking it around the country or across borders, you don’t get out of a punishment, which could be anywhere from 10-25 years in prison.

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Beth Edmonds