By Steve Elliott
Mexico's capitol, Mexico City, is the most liberal and secular part of that mostly Catholic nation. In 2007, the city government legalized abortion; in 2010 gay marriage was allowed; and next month the city's lawmakers are about to rethink policies on marijuana possession.
Other Mexican states, including Morelos, Veracruz, and Oaxaca could follow Mexico City's lead, reports Karl Baker at The Christian Science Monitor, presenting a challenge to President Enrique Peña Nieto, who has opposed marijuana legalization as he continues the country's war against drug smugglers.
The proposal will be submitted to the Mexico City legislative assembly in two weeks, according to the office of the bill's sponsor. It would legalize up to 40 grams of cannabis, assigning it a "zero priority" legal status. The law would instruct police not to take action if they witness cannabis use.
Analyst Carlos Zamudio Angles with the Collective for an Integral Drug Policy, a Mexico City think tank favoring decriminalization, said police corruption makes the decrim law necessary. The think tank said in a June 2013 report that two out of three cannabis users had reported bribing police in order to avoid being arrested.