Catholic representatives have strongly condemned a Mexican Supreme Court’s ruling on recreational marijuana. On Wednesday, the court’s first bench voted 4:1 in favor of an injunction that allows four people who applied for a license to grow and use marijuana, have the right to do so. The case lays the groundwork for future legal action in Mexico that could lead to legalization nationwide.
This comes as presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has introduced legislation that would end the federal prohibition on marijuana, allowing states the power to legalize and regulate marijuana in the same way state and local laws now govern the sale of alcohol and tobacco, without fear of federal impediment.
“For the Church, this is a serious decision and an incredibly irresponsible decision that follows certain fads, a certain mentality of individual freedom superior to social well-being,” said Fr Hugo Valdemar Romero, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico City.
Fr Valdemar, who expressed frustration with the courts deciding contentious social issues, said he did not think legalization was “appropriate” for a country consumed with such insecurity and poverty.
“In Mexico, we have a problem in which more than 50 per cent of the population is poor … It’s opening the doors to a population that is not very prepared,” he continues. “I think it’s an error that they’re legislating as if we were a country in Europe or in the United States.”
“We live in a culture of permission and we can’t stop it,” Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera Lopez of Monterrey said in comments published by news agency Quadratin. “Parents themselves can’t contain their children. We are in a society that wants permission for everything.”
The big worry is that it’s a debate that should take place in Congress, where citizens are represented, and not in an arbitrary decision, in a decision making it appear the court has turned into a super-national power that decides things that go beyond what the legislators representing the population can,” Fr Valdemar said.
In the United States, the states of Washington, Colorado, Alaska and Oregon have legalized marijuana use. The South American nation of Uruguay adopted a plan to create a legal pot market in 2013.