Pro-marijuana activists on bicycles paraded down Paseo de Montejo demanding an end to prohibition.
The event was held on Tuesday, April 20 — or 4/20, cannabis culture slang for smoking pot. The date has become an international counterculture holiday.
The cycling caravan started off at the Remate and finished at the Parque de la Paz, across from the Centenario Zoo.
Rally organizers said that the event was held in part to protests Mexican lawmakers who have willfully failed to follow instructions laid down by the Supreme Court regarding marijuana legalization.
The legal status of marijuana is in a gray area. The drug is still listed as a narcotic but the Mexican Supreme Court has ruled its prohibition unconstitutional.
A bill seeking to regulate the legal possession and distribution of marijuana was approved last March in Mexico’s lower legislative assembly. However, because multiple amendments were made to the bill, the proposed law requires ratification, yet again.
Pro-marijuana activists claim that the new amendments are intended to favor big business and tighten restrictions on home growing. The new rules would also require anyone cultivating marijuana, even for personal use, to register with the government and solicit a special license.
However, some activists believe that these and other provisions are ultimately just a strategy to run out the clock on the April 31 deadline imposed by the Supreme Court.
“This legislation is very important and we need to get it right. For this reason, we will be petitioning the Supreme Court for an extension on the time frame for legislation,” said Senate President Ricardo Monreal.
Industry analysts expect the debate surrounding marijuana legalization to resume next September.
With a population of over 127 million, Mexico would become the largest cannabis market in the world.
However, contrary to popular perception, marijuana consumption in Mexico has historically been quite modest among the general population.