On Sept. 15, 2016, a legislator from California revealed that Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto brought up California’s recreational legalization measure with a delegation of California Democratic lawmakers who were visiting Mexico to discuss trade and border issues, as reported by Reuters.
According to California Sen. Ben Allen, Peña Nieto mentioned the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, a ballot initiative that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state. Peña Nieto did not go into details, “but they’re clearly paying close attention,” Allen said.
If California legalizes recreational marijuana, Mexico may feel pressure to do the same; however, illegal drug-trafficking groups in Mexico could complicate the legalization process.
According to a recent report, 58% of voters in California favor recreational legalization, extending beyond traditional demographic dividing lines.
Peña Nieto previously proposed a bill to Mexico’s Congress on April 21 that would decriminalize simple possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, legalize medical use of marijuana and shift the government from a prohibition policy to a prevention policy, but Congress has not yet moved on the bill.