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Pro-marijuana activists protest law by planting cannabis in Mérida park

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Pro-marijuana activists named their garden Ya’ax Lu’um, or green ground in the Yucatec-Maya language. Photo: Courtesy

Pro-marijuana activists set up a protest garden at Mérida’s Parque de la La Paz over the weekend. 

The garden contains several species of medicinal and aromatic plants native to Yucatán, as well as cannabis. 

While tending to the new garden, several activists lit marijuana cigarettes in what they called an act of peaceful civil disobedience. 

Activists made it clear that they are unhappy with the failure of Mexico’s judicial branch to legalize and regulate the use of marijuana in the country. 

In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that banning cannabis violated Mexicans’ constitutional rights. The court instructed the federal government to create a legal framework to regulate the production and consumption of marijuana no later than April 30, 2021.

Now that the deadline has come and gone, activists argue that marijuana legalization has been left in a gray area, but that the Mexican judiciary is now on the wrong side of the law. 

Earlier: Free courses teach people in rural communities to cultivate marijuana

“The congress and senate are 100% to blame. They had a clear mandate from the Supreme Court, but they chose to simply run out the clock,” said Cuauhtli Laguna Peraza of the pro-marijuana collective Dzac Yah. 

At a similar event in April, pro-marijuana activists on bicycles paraded down Paseo de Montejo demanding an end to prohibition.

A bill seeking to regulate the legal possession and distribution of marijuana was approved in March in Mexico’s lower legislative assembly. However, because multiple amendments were made to the bill, the proposed law requires ratification yet again.

Industry analysts expect the debate surrounding marijuana legalization to resume in September.

Despite the uncertainty, investors in the country are preparing to cash in on marijuana legalization in Mexico. With a population of over 127 million, Mexico would become the largest cannabis market in the world.

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