With national expectations of impending cannabis legalization operating higher, Mexican President Andrés López Manuel Obrador dealt a blow to his country’s marijuana movement at his each day morning press conference on Thursday. The president told reporters that marijuana legalization “is not on our agenda.”

AMLO’s words seemed at odds with the reality that members of his personal Morena Celebration have indicated that a vote on marijuana legalization is imminent. Just yesterday, the president’s Secretary of Interior Olga Sánchez Cordero smiled and held aloft what positive looked like a joint on the floor of the Chamber of Deputies. The country’s Supreme Court has mandated that the Mexican legislature regulate marijuana by this month, and asked the Wellness Division to clarify regulations surrounding health-related marijuana. Lawmakers have held a series of public sessions to solicit opinions on how legalization really should appear in Mexico.

But AMLO’s words this morning recommended that he does not share the rest of his government’s dedication to marijuana regulation.

“With all respect, we haven’t deemed that,” he mentioned at his each day early morning press occasion. “I’m not ruling it out, but it is not on our agenda. We are dealing with other essential concerns.”

AMLO Clarifies Priorities

AMLO talked about overall health, labor concerns, and difficulties affecting the nation’s young folks as examples of his administration’s priorities that come ahead of cannabis legalization. He also reminded reporters of an anti-drug addiction campaign that his administration launched this summer season, in collaboration with many religious institutions.

The president did indicate, even so, that if lawmakers do approve a legalization strategy, his administration will cooperate.

Final year, Sánchez Cordero proposed the Morena Party’s initial strategy to legalize marijuana. Extensively noticed as a single of the country’s leaders when it comes to cannabis legalization, she created headlines only yesterday when she accepted the present of what looked like a joint on the floor of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies.

Sánchez Cordero was passed the unlit joint by independent legislator Ana Lucía Riojas Martínez, who was delivering a speech in favor of drug regulation as an option to the country’s creation of a new federal law enforcement branch.

“One step towards developing peace would be legalizing the consumption of drugs, a proposal that you oneself created,” Riojas Martínez mentioned, addressing Sánchez Cordero. “And so, to conclude my presentation, I’ve brought you a present as reminder of the proposal that you created.”

She then handed Sánchez Cordero what appeared to be a joint, which the Minister of the Interior held aloft, smiling.

When asked about the exchange, AMLO merely told reporters that Sánchez Cordero is “responsible and a incredibly excellent public servant and free of charge. A single of the qualities of this government is that it guarantees the freedom of all to express themselves.”

Different plans to regulate cannabis have been presented by Mexican legislators considering that Sánchez Cordero’s November 2018 proposal. Earlier this month, Morena legislator Mario Delgado Carrillo introduced legislation that would entrust the Mexican government with the sale and distribution of cannabis. That strategy was swiftly criticized by Morena’s Senate leader Ricardo Monreal Ávila and AMLO himself.