Could the legalization of cannabis transform Mexico’s economy?

The pungent aroma of cannabis and the sound of dub music fills the air at a hacienda as about 150 smokers, users, growers, activists, and business people gather for Mexico’s second annual Toquefest.

In anticipation of the long-delayed legalization of cannabis – after a number of supreme court decisions decreed the right to cultivate and deemed unconstitutional the ban on recreational use – the war on weed in Mexico is winding down, and the festival is just one of 20 cannabis-related events being held across the country.

Cannabis growers feel increasingly confident in going public, and some farmers are switching crops to la Santa Rosa: a gram of which can be sold for more than several kilos of black beans.

“This is another revolution,” says Isidro Cisneros, a grower from the town of Cuautlixco in the state of Morelos, where the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata was born. “It’s about land and freedom and a plant that has been criminalized for years without good reason. Growing cannabis, peasants can live and eat well.”


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