Mexican Senate passes medical cannabis bill

The Mexican Senate overwhelmingly passed a medical marijuana bill, but to become law the measure must still win approval from the country’s lower house.

The bill, which was passed 98-7 on Tuesday, would allow the use of products containing THC and would also permit marijuana to be produced for scientific and medical purposes, Reuters reported.

The Senate’s passage of the bill is another step toward cannabis legalization in a country where the government is trying to break up violent drug cartels.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto opposed medical marijuana legalization as recently as last year, but in April he came out in support of it.

The bill moving on to the lower house was introduced in late 2015 and was set for a vote this past summer before the Senate dashed MMJ advocate hopes by postponing it indefinitely.

In November 2015, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that individuals should have the right to cultivate and distribute cannabis for personal use.

Sen. Cristina Diaz Salazar, a member of the president’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, called Tuesday’s action “a historic step,” according to the Associated Press.