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  • Mexico became one step closer to legalizing marijuana.

  • The country's lower house of Congress approved a bill on Wednesday that would decriminalize cannabis for recreational, medicinal and scientific uses.

  • The bill, backed by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, was approved 316 to 127 votes.

  • It now goes to the Senate, where, if passed, would create one of the world's largest markets for the plant and be a major shift for a country bedeviled by cartel violence.

  • The law would open five types of marijuana licenses.

  • Cultivation, transformation, sale, research and export or import of the plant.

  • People 18 years and older and with a permit would be able to grow, carry or consume marijuana and its derivatives.

  • Obrador's ruling Marina party has argued that decriminalizing cannabis could help combat Mexico's powerful drug cartels.

  • Some lawmakers want the law to go further.

  • Ana Lucia Rojas is an independent.

  • This law does not protect the human rights of those who have been most affected by the war against drug trafficking.

  • It does not go towards the construction of peace and it does not in any sense compensate the victims of the armed forces.

  • Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize the plant's production and sale in 2013.

  • Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru allow its medicinal use, while Canada and several U.

  • S states have regulated recreational use.

Mexico became one step closer to legalizing marijuana.

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