The United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs takes place in New York this week, and yesterday, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto showed is support for the legalization of medical marijuana. 

“I am giving voice to those who have expressed the necessity of changing the regulatory framework to authorize the use of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes,” Pena Nieto said in a speech at UNGASS.

He also added that groups in Mexico “showed the need to lift, in accordance with international standards, the amount of marijuana that can be considered for personal use, with the purpose of not criminalizing users.”

Later this week the President will come forward with details of how Mexico plans to implement this policy shift.

On prohibition, he spoke about how it has bought untold violence to Mexico and along with other leaders from Latin America at the UNGASS conference, urged countries that are consuming illegal drugs to acknowledge their role in looking at a new way forward. It is assumed this was mainly directed at the US, whose demand makes up a large proportion of the world’s drug use, supporting violence in those countries that produce and traffic the drugs to the US border.

UNGASS, originally scheduled for 2019, came three years early at the urging of Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia.